Returning Stamford Bridge star is proving a sterling success in his second spell in west London.
When Chelsea elected to re-sign Nemanja Matic in January there were certainly a few doubting voices among the Blues support but the Serbian has certainly silenced them all with his metronome-like displays this season.
It was Italian boss Carlo Ancelotti who elected to use the midfielder as bait in pursuit of Ramires back in 2011 and in all honesty there were not many around west London who at that point felt that such a sacrifice was a costly one of any sort.
With John Obi Mikel and Michael Essien perhaps being seen as far too one dimensional in their defensive midfield roles in recent seasons one can see why Jose Mourinho felt the need to strengthen in the area but there was nothing to suggest in the second half of last term that Matic would prove so crucial in 2014/15.
As it stands, Matic is perhaps now one of the first names on Jose Mourinho’s team-sheet, such has been his growth over the past six months.
The 26 year old rangy performer has proven superb at breaking up opposition advances and subsequently offering a layer of protection in front of the Chelsea back-line.
Whereas Mikel’s modus operandi might be the execution of a strong scything challenge Matic is a purveyor of collecting interceptions. Reading the opposition and gliding into positions to prevent the completion of a pass before expertly distributing to a tea-mate, more often than not his central midfield partner in crime Cesc Fabregas.
Matic possesses great strength and has an excellent footballing brain who can also trouble opposition keepers with long range efforts.
The midfield man mountain has started 15 of Chelsea’s 16 Premier League fixtures this season. The one game he missed saw Mourinho’s men suffer their one and only defeat of the season to date.
The former Benfica man has proved superb in Premier League action but his attributes may prove to be even more in keeping with those needed to succeed in the Champions League and with Matic on board and in sparkling form Jose Mourino’s side will be well placed to mount genuine challenges for major honours this term.