Chelsea target Matic confirms leaving Benfica
Chelsea target Nemanja Matic has inched even closer to a move back to London after confirming that he had indeed played his last game for Benfica over the weekend. Goal.com (via A Bola) report that Matic is set for a return to the West London club in a move thought to be worth around £20.7m.
Speaking to the press in the wake of his last match as a Benfica player, Matic was thankful for the opportunity provided by the Portuguese giants.
Yes, it was my last game.
I want to thank all the people at the club and all the supporters. Benfica will be forever in my heart. I played here two and a half years, I gave my best in every practice, every game, and now is the right time to leave.
I want to improve, I want to go to a better league and want to go to Chelsea, the club which I also like.
Matic will be rejoining the side that he spent two seasons at from 2009 to 2011. Part of the deal that saw David Luiz come to Chelsea in 2011 from Benfica, Matic signed for the Portuguese side as a 23 year old, but has developed his game immensely over the past couple of years.
Ironically, Matic was essentially sold to make room for David Luiz in 2011, but the roles have been reversed now, as Luiz, who can also play as a defensive midfielder, could likely be given the green light to go as soon as Matic arrives.
Luiz has fallen out of favor with new boss Jose Mourinho and is desperate to find regular playing time ahead of the World Cup in Brazil this summer. Despite being linked with moves to Bayern Munich, Barcelona, and other clubs, rumors of a move back to Benfica have now started to surface with Matic coming to Chelsea.
In Matic, Chelsea will get a bit more steel in a midfield that is heavily dominated by smaller and more technical players. Though Ramires, Frank Lampard, Michael Essien, and John Obi-Mikel aren't afraid to put in a tackle, Matic's size will be massively beneficial for a side looking to push on and reclaim the Premier League title.
The Serbian midfielder is also more than capable of showing grace and technical ability as shown by his incredible strike that was up for yesterday's Puskas Award for goal of the year.
Do you think Chelsea's signing of Matic will be enough to help them win the title or do you think the Blues need a striker that can help push them on to Premier League glory?