Chelsea recruit Matic on his qualities, Jose & debuting against United

Chelsea Logo - Stamford Bridge Tunnel

Jose Mourinho's £21m addition to Stamford Bridge has addressed a number of issues, including the possibility of playing against Manchester United.

After successfully passing a medical examination, former Benfica stand-out Nemanja Matic officially became a Chelsea player - for the second time in his career - and has informed the club's fans that they can expect a physically-imposing but technically-skilled footballer blessing their midfield.

Matic is not a player for the future, like Marco van Ginkel was in the summer transfer window last year. The Serbian 25-year-old is one for the present, he was the Portuguese league player of the year last season and, in his final game for Benfica, last Sunday, against Porto, he produced a somewhat fitting man of the match display.

Once contracts were exchanged in front of the in-house media team, on Wednesday, Matic gave his first on-camera interview and told Chelsea TV the differences between the Matic that Blues fans knew from 2011 and the one who is here today.

'I'm more experienced and I learned a lot at Benfica so I think I'm better than last time… I'm older [and] train harder. I train good.'

On the club's official website, manager Jose Mourinho alluded to the trait that may have attracted him to encourage the club to return for Matic - his 'fantastic all-round game.'

Embellishing, Matic - a 6ft 4in monster of a midfielder - said: 'I think that my best quality is I'm very tall and also for 1.94 metres I have good technique. I am physically very good and can run a lot. This will be a good basis for the team.'

Even though the athlete has been occupied with aiding Benfica's push for a prestigious Primeira Liga and Europa League double (Benfica sit atop the Portuguese division and face AOK Salonika in Europe), Matic admitted that he has continued to follow the Blues.

'Chelsea have good young players [Oscar], so I think in the next year and few years, [they] will show power, but they need time as if a player is young he needs time to show his qualities. [At] Chelsea [they] will be one of the best, if not the best team in Europe.

'When I had time, I always watched the games. I always liked to see [Mourinho]. He said to me 'Welcome', he expects me to be professional and give my best to the team.'

That best may arrive sooner, rather than later. Matic is, of course, match fit and may well be thrust into a sink-or-swim situation by having his second debut on Sunday, January 19 against Manchester United in front of a sell-out Stamford Bridge and an international audience of multiple millions.

On the prospect of featuring against David Moyes' men, Matic diplomatically concluded: 'I'm in the training process, I played my last game last Sunday so I do not have any problem. It is up to the coach to decide [if I'm ready for Manchester United].'

And his squad number? 'I like number 21, if it's free but if it's not, it's okay.'

For a statistical comparison between Matic's numbers and those recorded by players such as Mathieu Flamini, Lucas Leiva and Paulinho, click here.

image: © Jason Bagley

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