Nemanja Matic

Jamie Carragher claims Nemanja Matic has been rubbish for the last year and a half

Not as good

Jamie Carragher has spoken about Nemanja Matic and why he thinks the player has been off the boil for the last year and a half – and claimed he understands why Chelsea decided to sell the player this summer.

Of course, selling to a rival side is never ideal, and that’s exactly what the Blues have done – but Carragher thinks Matic needs to get back to the player he was when he first came to England in order to be a real success for the club.

He told Sky Sports: “Nemanja Matic is clearly an upgrade for Manchester United in an area that was a problem for them, especially with Michael Carrick getting older.

“He has been back in the Premier League for three-and-a-half years and for the first 18 months I thought he was one hell of a player, but since then he has gone off the boil.

“He did well as Chelsea won the league last year, but he didn’t go back to the level of 2014/15 and Cesc Fabregas was playing a lot more in the second half of last season.

“At 29, I can understand why Chelsea sold him but it’s still a good signing for Man United as there are not many of those players about. Mourinho knows him and he’s won two titles, but can he get back to being the player I saw in 2014 and 2015?”

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Against Conte’s wishes?

One thing that people have questioned is if the sale of Matic was against the wishes of manager Antonio Conte, who has spoken about his plans for the new season and made it clear he would have liked Matic to be a part of that.

Not only that, but the Chelsea boss feels he has been left short in one of the key areas of the field, and that Matic will also enhance Manchester United – something that has been fairly clear to see from the pre-season games the player has already taken part in this summer.