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Manchester United’s Matic vs €25m Jose Mourinho Target – A Statistical Comparison Of The Two Beast Midfielders

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Nemanja Matic (centre)

Nemanja Matic vs Fabinho – A Statistical Comparison

Jose Mourinho enjoyed a decent debut season with Manchester United, despite failing to land the Premier League trophy, as his side huffed and puffed to finish 6th. However, he won the Community Shield, the League Cup and clinched the Europa League that became the team’s passport for their qualification to the Champions League this campaign.

Having spent millions on the likes of Paul Pogba, Eric Bailly and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, one position that came under a lot of scrutiny last season was the defensive midfield position. Mourinho was desperate to bring in a cultured defensive midfielder this summer and had identified a couple of targets.

AS Monaco’s Fabinho first emerged as the club’s prime target to fill that role, before United unexpectedly swooped Chelsea’s Nemanja Matic. Chelsea’s decision to let Matic join a rival club was baffling, and now the Serb is looking like a bargain in the transfer window as United have started very well this time.

The injuries to Paul Pogba and Marouane Fellaini have somewhat derailed United lately, leaving Mourinho with only two recognised midfielders – Nemanja Matic and Ander Herrera. If the rumour mill is anything to go by, the Red Devils have been linked with a January move for €25m rated Fabinho.

Although Mourinho’s side continue to churn out results without Pogba and Fellaini, let us have a detailed comparison between two quality defensive midfielders in Fabinho and Matic.

Fabinho has been a regular at AS Monaco.

While Matic and Fabinho are both defensive midfielders by trade, they are certainly different personas. Whilst Matic is very sound positionally and does not afford a lot of space for the opposition players to breed in, Fabinho’s work-rate and versatility are his prized assets.

Matic has been an indispensable figure for United since the start of the season, and so has been Fabinho for Monaco. Both the midfielders have played every minute for their respective clubs.

The former Chelsea midfielder is not the one to support the attack very often. Despite the fact, Matic has one assist and has created five chances for the team, while Fabinho, a player capable of playing killer passes, has produced 8 chances for the French outfit.

An aggressive customer, Fabinho has turned into a renowned ball-winner with his immense tackling abilities since past few seasons. He has won 22 tackles, double of Matic’s tally of 11. However, the extra forceful nature has seen him draw three yellow cards in comparison to Matic’s nil.

United struggled for goals last season and Matic is not a distinguished goal-scoring midfielder. In contrast, Fabinho has the technique to score long-rangers and the composure to step up and score from the penalty-spot as well. The Brazilian netted 10 goals last term and already has one in his locker this campaign.

In terms of interceptions, the United midfielder, who has made 19 blocks, is some way ahead of the Monaco man’s 12. When successful take-ons comes into picture, it is tough to differentiate both as Matic has 17 compared to Fabinho’s 15.

The 24-year-old Fabinho, a midfielder who boasts a fine array of passes, has enjoyed a similar pass competition rate to that of the 29-year-old Matic’s 87%. However, the former has only 431 successful passes in comparison to the latter’s 607.

While both are physically imposing figures and aerially very good; on the subject of aerial duels won, the Brazilian’s 68.57% trumps the Serbian’s 57.69%.

Jumping to a conclusion, it is obvious from the stats that these players are both very successful for their teams. Fabinho looks like a tenacious midfielder, mobile and excellent at break-up play for Monaco. Matic, meanwhile may not be the quickest of midfielders, but his calming presence at the base of midfield and solidity coupled with his reliability makes him a great asset to United.

Mourinho has gone with Matic and the Serbian has since performed extremely well. But come January, United could be in for Fabinho, who would represent a fine long-term investment to replace the ageing Michael Carrick.

Credits: Squawka.