Nemanja Matic has been a revelation since he rejoined Chelsea from Benfica in January.
The 25-year-old has established himself as an integral cog in Jose Mourinho’s machine over the past three or so months, starting in nine Premier League matches and helping the Blues move up to second.
The Serbia international’s rise at Chelsea is a strange one. He initially moved to the London club from Kosice in August 2009 for around £1.5m, but failed to cut the grades.
After a loan spell at Dutch club Vitesse, he was offloaded to Portuguese giants Benfica in January 2011 as part of a deal that saw Brazilian centre-back David Luiz move to Chelsea.
Since then, though, Matic has been developing and going from strength to strength, and won the Primeira Liga Player of the Year award for the 2012–13 season.
Chelsea manager Mourinho was so impressed with Matic’s improvement in Portugal that he decided to recruit him in January this year for a staggering £21m. And he has repaid the 51-year-old’s trust in him.
Matic himself has now claimed that he is overjoyed with how he has settled back into life at his old club and admits that he could not turn down the offer when it arrived during the January transfer window.
"The day my agent offered me the chance to come back to Chelsea, I didn’t hesitate for one second," he told A Bola. "You can’t refuse one of the best clubs in the world and the best coach in the world. But my wife and my three-year-old child cried when we left Lisbon.
"But in London I feel really great. I'm also working with a great manager, everybody knows that Jose Mourinho is a fantastic coach. Now I'm training under him every day I just must agree, he really is fantastic.
But I'm also close to my former boss Jorge Jesus, we are talking regularly. He was my manager and now he is my friend."
Matic is ineligible to play in the Champions League this season as he has already featured in the competition for Benfica, but he is making the most of his chances in the Premier League.
Chelsea are now probably third favourites to win the title in England, but if they do eventually clinch it, then Matic will prove to be a key acquisition.
Have you been impressed with Nemanja Matic’s performances for Chelsea?