Doubts about Chelsea star Matic are gone, says Blues legend

Nemanja Matic

Nemanja Matic netted the winning goal for Chelsea as they defeated Sporting in the Champions League.

The 26-year-old Serbian international has yet to miss a game for the Blues this season, and his towering header against Sporting was his second goal of the season.

Currently on a run of 21 consecutive Premier League starts, Matic has received nothing but praise since his return to Stamford Bridge, having left the club three years ago as part of the deal to bring David Luiz to West London.

Upon his return he immediately strengthened a weak midfield, putting in a man of the match performance as Chelsea defeated Manchester City last season, and he is now a key part of the Blues team currently sitting atop the Premier League table.

During his first-spell with the club he failed to make much impact, and, despite an impressive three-year spell with Benfica, there were doubts surrounding the player following his £21 million return.

However, former Chelsea player and manager Roberto Di Matteo, who led the Blues to Champions League glory in 2012, has admitted that everyone is impressed with the Serbs’ performances, and are amazed with his progress since his first spell at Stamford Bridge.

"He’s been very impressive,” Di Matteo told Sky Sports.

"There might have been a few doubts about his signing, with him coming back to the club, but he’s really impressed everybody within the team and all the supporters.

"He dictates the time of the team, he shields the back four very well and he has great distribution with his left foot. He has good vision as well. He’s matured very well as a player.

"I remember when he left, when he was a little younger, but he’s become an integral part of this team.”

Matic offers something different to a number of defensive midfielders, with an added finesse to complement his ball-winning physique, and another former Chelsea man has also been impressed.

Glenn Hoddle managed Chelsea for a spell in the 1990’s, and he is delighted to see Matic now he is up to the rigours of the top flight.

He added: “He has got to grips with the tempo of the game in the Premier League.

“When he was first here I thought he was a bit leggy – he’s a big lad – but he’s come back in and he’s dealt with that. He’s got vision, he plays with his head up and he looks forward.”

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