Where would Nemanja Matic fit in the Gunners lineup?
Arsenal are the latest club to be linked with Benfica’s superb Serbian midfielder Nemanja Matic, after talkSPORT exclusively reported it yesterday.
The 25-year-old has also drawn interest from Chelsea (a club he used to play for), Liverpool, Napoli and Real Madrid, but Arsenal have contacted the player’s agent Dejan Mitrovic to discuss a potential deal, the radio station understands…
Matic has a reported £40m release clause, So let’s take a look at what the stocky midfielder could bring to the Premier League title hopefuls…
Matic’s strengths, position and attributes:
At 6 ft. 4″, Matic is a real footballing powerhouse. He’s broad too, but his immense stature doesn’t mean he is immobile. Matic is capable of getting up and down the pitch for an entire 90 minutes, and these physical attributes would seemingly suit the Premier League perfectly.
He prefers to play as a holding player, but is equally capable of being deployed as a box-to-box midfielder. In this respect he can be compared to Chelsea’s Ramires, although Matic is more comfortable and relaxed in possession. Matic’s best attributes are his ability to break up opposition attacks, but he is a strong passer of the ball also. In Portugal, he has far more time on the ball than he would in the Premier League, so his ability to pick up possession in the middle and spray clever passes around might be tested at first.
At 25-years-old however, the Serbian is without doubt entering his peak years as a midfielder, so would have time to re-adapt to the league he left back in 2011.
Where would he fit in Arsenal’s current, injury ridden lineup?
At the moment, Arsenal are without injured star duo Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil, meaning if he were to arrive soon, Matic could be given more responsibility to dictate play and start attacks in the middle of the park.
With Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini rotating the holding midfield position, Matic could take up the box-to-box duties Ramsey has been given for most of the season. His physical presence would no doubt aide this, although his natural position is arguably in a deeper, less creative role.
In this respect, Matic could eventually be adapted into a more defensively minded midfielder for the Gunners, happy to let the wealth of attacking talent around him take on creative responsibility.
Here’s how the Serbian could fit into a fully fit Arsenal lineup:
With a full fit squad, Arsenal have the players to maximise Matic’s physical attributes and use him as a deep-lying midfield destroyer.
The Serb has the ability to tackle and intercept, and the nous to play the ball simply to either Ramsey or Wilshere beside him – or even play a more ambitious longer ball to an onrushing Theo Walcott or Mesut Ozil.
Benfica will no doubt demand a hefty transfer fee for Matic’s services, but the brute of a midfielder would really add something to the Arsenal squad. While Arteta and Flamini have been doing a good job anchoring the side, they lack the power, height and tenacity Matic could provide the title hopefuls.
It could well be that his signing could cement the Gunners’ spot at the top of the Premier League table.