£21 million as a fee for a player who signs on a five-year deal suggests that Blues boss Jose Mourinho is thinking long term.
The 'special one' is not making purchases like this to push for the title in the immediate sense, he is making deals projecting forward for the next few titles at the very least, which reinforces the manager's commitment to stay with Chelsea for several years.
25-year-old Matic will, as he progresses, likely vie for his place with John Obi Mikel and Ramires at Chelsea, as well as, for the time-being, Michael Essien.
It still remains to be seen whether or not Juan Mata is part of Mourinho’s plans for the Blues. The Spanish playmaker will likely not be affected by this signing, as Matic is more of a central or defensive midfielder than an attacking creative one.
There is also the potential that Matic could be considered as a long-term replacement for Frank Lampard or, more likely, Essien as he is not known for his goal scoring particularly.
What is interesting is that the boss hasn’t bolted into the transfer window in search of a striker or an attacking midfielder that could replace Juan Mata. That suggests either he is keeping his options open until late in the window or he is content with keeping Mata and relying upon the forwards he has.
The fact Mourinho has yet to be linked in a tangible way with a striker will surely be a vote of confidence for Fernando Torres, as well as Samuel Eto’o and Demba Ba but the decision not to sign a top goal scorer could have a major impact on the Blues’ title challenge.
Mourinho has bemoaned their lack of ‘killer instinct’ in recent weeks and yet the Portuguese coach has not made a dash to sign a truly dangerous centre-forward.
It’s often the case that the big deals happen late in the day in transfer windows – especially in January when clubs tend to let it go to the wire to make their minds up and see what other deals unfold but we know Mourinho wanted a striker in the summer and I would be surprised if he didn’t make a move for one this month.
He went in all guns blazing for Wayne Rooney and I would suspect he will play the patient game this month for a star talent who is more readily available than the England number 10.
Whether in England or abroad I think Mourinho will be watching as the clock winds away to see if an opportunity presents itself to bring in a striker with killer instinct. It strikes me, at the moment; Mourinho’s killer instinct is biding its time to bite.
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