Chelsea star: I’m happy to be compared with club legend Claude Makelele

Nemanja Matic

Nemanja Matic has been in excellent form for the Blues this season.

Chelsea defensive midfielder Nemanja Matic says he is happy to be compared to Stamford Bridge idol Claude Makelele.

The Serbian international has been a revelation for the Blues since re-signing for the during the January transfer window earlier this year.

This season, alongside Cesc Fabregas, the duo have formed a formidable midfield partnership which has been the backbone to the Blues’ fabulous 20-game unbeaten run in all competitions.

While former Arsenal man Fabregas is the creator, Matic has been a rock in-front of the back four and his defensive capabilities are arguably the best in the Premier League.

  PositionTeamTackles Won per GAMEBall Recoveries per GAMEPoss Won Middle 3rd per GAMEAppearancesMins Played
Nemanja Matic MF Chelsea 2.77 8.85 5.85 13 1,170
Daley Blind MF Man Utd 2.25 5.13 3.25 8 720
Mathieu Flamini MF Arsenal 2.1 4.9 3 10 833
Steven Gerrard MF Liverpool 1.23 5.77 3.46 13 1,095

As per the table provided by Opta Stats, the former Benfica ace averages more tackles, ball recoveries and steals per game than fellow rival defensive midfielders.

As a result, comparisons have been made with former Real Madrid and Stamford Bridge idol Claude Makelele, high acclaim which Matic says he is very happy to receive.

“I don’t mind working hard for the team - this is my job, I’m a defensive midfielder,” he said, quoted by the Mirror. "I am very happy to be compared with Claude Makelele, one of the best players in the history of Chelsea. He is a legend, it means I must be doing something right.”

Former French international Makelele joined the West Londoners in 2003 and was labelled the club’s 2004-05 Player of the Year by boss Jose Mourinho following his debut campaign in charge.

He went on to make 217 appearances for the club before moving to PSG in 2008, winning two Premier League titles, two League Cups and one FA Cup.

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