When Chelsea re-signed Nemanja Matic from Benfica for £21million in January, few in the know thought it a bad idea. The fact the Blues were paying a hefty fee for a player they had parted company with when David Luiz headed to London was up for debate, but there were no doubts over whether the Serbian midfielder could cope with the pressures of Premier League and European football.
In short, Matic went to Benfica and became outstanding.
And that was recognised just last week, when he returned to Portugal to be crowned radio station TSF's Player of 2013.
At 25, he is arguably approaching the peak of his career. And in just the few matches he has played since his return to London, it is clear he is going to play a huge role in Chelsea's future. But his talent is such that he could also be collecting more individual accolades in the future.
Here is a player who scored what was selected as one of the three best goals of last year. And now he is beginning to dominate midfields in England just as he did so impressively in Portugal.
While there are plenty of players looking to challenge for the honours at the end of each and every campaign, Matic has the talent to be among them and - if he can develop further - beat the lot.
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