Chelsea & Nemanja Matic
29-year-old Nemanja Matic joined Manchester United last summer from Chelsea.
Many are still wondering why Chelsea allowed the defensive midfielder to move to Old Trafford.
Man United only spent £40 million bring Matic to the Theatre of Dreams, which now looks like a bargain price.
Matic had been at Chelsea since 2014. Indeed, Matic made over 150 appearances in his second Chelsea spell at the club.
Nemanja Matic’s Man United stats
Matic was the hero for Man United at Crystal Palace on Monday night.
With a rare blockbusting strike, Matic scored an injury time winner at Selhurst Park and United beat the Eagles 3-2.
— VOOsport (@VOOsport) March 6, 2018
But Matic wasn’t signed for his goals, but for his ability to influence matches in the middle of the park.
EA Sports Data has revealed that Nemanja Matic has made the second most interceptions (56) of any Premier League midfielder this year, with only Crystal Palace’s Yohan Cabaye managing one more interception that him so far this season.
Matic’s midfield partner from last season, N’Golo Kante, has managed the fifth most interceptions in the Premier League to date.
But Tiemoue Bakayoko, who was signed by Chelsea last summer, has only managed the 22nd most interceptions this season for any PL midfielder, with just 29.
When looking at the raw data comparing Matic to the man filling his boots at Chelsea this season, Bakayoko, we can see just how impressive the Serbian has been for United.
Matic has not only won 14 more aerial duels than Bakayoko, but wins over 15% more of the aerial battles that he is involved in that his replacement at Stamford Bridge.
With the ball on the deck, Matic is equally impressive having completed just shy of 1,000 passes more than the Chelsea man, with a marginally higher success rate.