Published: Sat, August 12, 2017
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Matic signing gives United title edge over Chelsea

Matic signing gives United title edge over Chelsea

"Yes, for sure", the Italian said when asked if it will be hard to retain the title this season without making more signings. People at the club seemed to mull it over for quite a while and then out of respect for Petr and what he'd done, and the situation with [Thibaut] Courtois, they let him go.

Matic chose to call time on his second spell at Stamford Bridge after Chelsea emerged victorious in their chase of ex-Monaco man Tiemoue Bakayoko.

Lampard believes Matic will help to transform United into Premier League title contenders this season, as he suggested Paul Pogba may be the biggest victor from the arrival of a new holding midfielder who will give him more freedom to get forward.

"There are a lot of variables that aren't easy but from the outside, it does seem unusual to let that player go to a direct rival - and he will improve them".

The Red Devils finished in sixth place in the Premier League table last season but still got their hands on the EFL Cup and the Europa League.

"There's responsibility on Bakayoko not just to bring the talents that he has - and he has many - but also the discipline to fit into the system". You've got to understand what the club is all about.

"He seemed like he wanted to leave previous year at times, although he was very influential and played very well", he said of Costa.

He added: "We can do that but we can also play with four at the back. I think we just have to accept it and move on". All of a sudden United are in the driving seat ahead of Chelsea to win the Premier League.

Matic was brought in to stabilise the midfield, and though United were overran, Mourinho was pleased with the 29-year-old's performance.

"He was what we wanted him to be, to move the ball in a simple way to give balance to the team to start building from the back and he's a player with great experience, many years at the highest level and good experience good stability".

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