It's not because he terrifies defenders or scores brilliant goals but because he’s one of the best prospects the club has signed.
Matija Nastasic has only played 19 games for Manchester City in the Premier League this season, he hasn’t scored a goal and he hasn’t produced a single assist - he doesn't need to being a central defender and he is definitely one of the most promising players the side has.
Nastasic is quickly forming a defensive relationship with Vincent Kompany which looks as though it is going to be the core of the City side over the next few seasons and there are already suggestions that he will be a better player than Manchester United’s Nemanja Vidic.
Nastasic is just a raw 20-year-old centre back who is still learning about the English game in a big way and the best way to approach the various styles and tactics which English teams use.
He seems to be a very exciting defender, someone who is popular with the manager, his teammates and the fans, and a player who could easily become an established star at the club over the next few seasons.
Pace is a big part of his game and although he lacks some of the strength that Kompany displays in every match, that pace makes him unique because there is not another defender as quick as him in the back four.
What that allows him to do is not only cover on the counter attack, it allows him to adjust for the errors he has made and will make, because he’s still a very young man learning his trade.
He reads the game as well as any other defender in the Premier League. If you watch him in any City game, he always seems to be thinking about anticipating where the next run is going to come from or where the ball is going to be played.
He doesn’t do it in a reckless way because of the fact he has Kompany next to him. Kompany ensures that he doesn’t break from his position to go flying out to intercept a ball, which leaves a gaping great hole behind him through the middle of the defence.
Aerially he is also very dominant which is easy for him because he’s a naturally tall man at six feet and two inches. That means he’s equally as effective dealing with balls coming over the top as he is with the ball on the ground.
The big test for him is to stay in the side now that he has made himself one of the first pick defenders in the team and a defender that City are quickly coming to rely on for important matches.
All of the early indications are very good and he is only going to get better because his acceleration will improve as he grows and his strength will also improve with more gym work.
It really wouldn’t be a surprise to see him start the majority of matches for the club next season because as much as Mancini may want to protect him, he’s that good that it will be difficult to resist the urge to play him all the time.
City fans, how do you rate him?
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