Why Manchester United should have allowed Nemanja Matic to exit over the summer
Manchester United haven’t had a brilliant start to the season despite splashing cash on two quality defenders.
Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka have impressed this season but there are other problems hurting the Red Devils.
The attack doesn’t look sharp after they sold Romelu Lukaku while their midfield seems to be missing some steel.
Nemanja Matic could provide that but the Serbian’s legs are gone and he has only played 22 minutes for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this season.
The 31-year-old could have been off to Italy, according to journalist Duncan Castles, but the deal didn’t take place as United wanted more money.
Castles was speaking to the Mirror and claimed Matic wanted to play regularly rather than be on the bench, but United weren’t happy with the offers on the table (h/t Sun):
“United didn’t take up those offers because they felt that financially they weren’t high enough for them to sell Matic.
“So he was forced to remain at the club.”
United take another questionable decision in the transfer window
Letting go of Lukaku and not replacing him will hurt United later in the season, but Matic should have been allowed to leave.
Solskjaer seems to trust Scott McTominay in the defensive midfielder’s role and has handed the 22-year-old four starts in the Premier League.
The Scot has impressed in his outings for United and seems to be doing a good job alongside Paul Pogba.
They also have Fred in their team who could play in that role, but he does have an urge to attack, which would leave Pogba a little exposed.
Matic could feature in the Europa League campaign for the Red Devils, but it would have made more sense for them to provide a younger player with a chance to impress.
Solskjaer certainly favours that idea by landing Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James this summer, and there are great expectations from Mason Greenwood too.
United might not have received a tempting offer in the summer for Matic, but there are no guarantees that a better offer would come next season or even in the winter window.
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The Serbian has had his struggles since the last season, and letting him play in Italy would have worked out well for him.
United missed a trick by not allowing Matic to leave in the summer. The Serbian might be one of the most experienced players in the team, but his time at the club seems to have come to an end.
McTominay is doing a good job in the midfield at the moment, and it will be interesting to see how many games Matic does play for them this season.