It may have been a long time coming, but Nemanja Matic is now a regular and vital part of Chelsea’s midfield.
The player returned to Stamford Bridge in a £21million deal from Benfica in January, and he has made an immediate impact with his shows of dominance in midfield.
The Serb is currently on international duty and has been speaking to newspaper Vecernje Novosti about the European Championship qualifying group his country will soon have to navigate.
“We have to reach the finals in France as people in Serbia have had enough of our excuses that we are a quality side always very nearly there but never quite up to the task,” he said.
Matic and his teammates will come up against Portugal, Denmark, Armenia and Albania, but the Chelsea player believes Serbia have enough to qualify.
“We have to roll our sleeves up and get down to some hard work because the best way to show our respect to a top quality side like Portugal is to beat them,”he said.
As well as looking ahead to international matters, Matic also spoke about his return to Stamford Bridge and his belief that he must always perform to his best in order to remain there.
“No one at Chelsea is irreplaceable and I have set high standards for myself as every player at the club should and has to,” he explained.
His form since his return has definitely suggested he has no intention of wasting this opportunity. Widely regarded as one of the best midfielders in Europe, Matic has started as he will mean to go on at Chelsea.
Now just imagine what he will be like when he has a full pre-season at the club under his belt.
image: © Ben Sutherland