Nemanja Matic completes Manchester United move - How he compares to the midfielders at Old Trafford

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Reports emerged on Sunday that Nemanja Matic has completed his medical ahead of a move to Manchester United.

Jose Mourinho has been in the market for a holding midfielder all summer and has finally landed on a tried and tested option in the Serbian.

Matic and Mourinho won the Premier League title together at Chelsea in the Portuguese's second term at the club and are set to work together again.

Here's a look at how he compares to the midfielder department at United and how he can improve it.

PASSING

While distribution isn't necessarily Matic's forte, he is a reliable passer and that is as crucial an attribute as any as a holding midfielder. It's all well and good winning possession, but if you're wasteful on the ball, it doesn't help the team. In that regard, Matic boasts a fine pass success rate of 87.7%, bettered only by Michael Carrick (89%) among the United midfielders. Having N'Golo Kante as his midfield partner last season, Matic was able to venture further up the pitch, something he wasn't accustomed to. However, it did lead him to registering an unprecedented seven assists in the league. That's more than any United player, let alone midfielder. The Serbian is no playmaker though. He did manage to stride forward and find the occasional decisive pass but he's not going to carve a defence open on a regular basis. He managed only 26 key passes last term but fortunately, that's not an area in which he is expected to excel. Instead, Paul Pogba and even Herrera to an extent will be granted more freedom to unlock the opposition's defence with Matic anchoring the midfield.

DEFENSIVE DUTIES

The Serbia international has been recruited for the sole purpose of bringing the right balance to United's midfield. To do that, he needs to shield the defence to the best of his abilities, allowing players around him to flourish. While Matic is renowned for his defensive displays in the middle of the park, his stats in the league last season aren't particularly impressive. Herrera was by far the superior ball-winner, notching up 84 tackles and 82 interceptions compared to the former Benfica player's figures of 52 and 50. To an extent, Kante's dogged nature and superior defensive attributes did limit Matic's contribution in that regard, something the player himself has alluded to. “Since Kante came, he's worked more behind me and his job is what I have done for the last two years,” Matic said last season. He was almost a spectator at times with Kante rushing over to neutralise virtually every threat. At United though, the onus would fall on him to do that job and that should see him contribute more in a defensive capacity. Indeed, he managed 84 tackles and 67 interceptions in the 2015/16 season while boasting 128 tackles and 73 interceptions the year before.

VERDICT

He is far from a marquee name but that seems to be the theme of United's transfer business this summer. Romelu Lukaku although coming for a huge fee, is a proven Premier League goalscorer and his arrival almost guarantees United goals. Their pursuit of Ivan Perisic has a similar feel to it. He's capable of beating a man, is consistent with his crossing and clinical in front of goal but won't exactly take your breath away and is pushing on at the age of 28. However, given that apart from Michael Carrick, the team now looks to the likes of Antonio Valencia, Hererra and even Pogba for leadership, means that United should be targeting players who are experienced, accomplished and reliable. That's exactly what Matic is; a reliable soldier, a solid buy.

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Nemanja Matic eager to complete Manchester United move, says Jose Mourinho

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Nemanja Matic

Nemanja Matic is eager to leave Chelsea and sign for Manchester United, according to Red Devils boss Jose Mourinho.

Reports have claimed a deal in the region of £40 million is close to being agreed between the two clubs for the 28-year-old Serbia international midfielder.

Matic would be United's third summer signing following the arrivals of defender Victor Lindelof from Benfica and striker Romelu Lukaku from Everton. It would also be the second time Mourinho has bought Matic, having signed him for Chelsea in 2014.

Asked about the possibility of a reunion following United's 3-0 pre-season friendly win against Valerenga in Oslo on Sunday, Mourinho said in a press conference shown on MUTV: "I'm waiting for news. "I know that he wants that very, very much and when a player wants very, very much the chance is bigger, the chance is bigger, so I think we have a chance but in football until it's official, I saw so many things happen that I refuse to say more than I am telling you now."

Chelsea spent £21 million just over three and a half years ago to buy Matic from Benfica for a second spell at Stamford Bridge. His possible arrival at Old Trafford might spark speculation around the future of Marouane Fellaini and the big Belgian was linked with a move to Turkish club Galatasaray over the weekend. Fellaini, in the final year of his contract, provided a reminder of what he can do by heading United's first goal against Valerenga and after the game Mourinho dismissed suggestions he would be sold. "It's easier for Galatasaray to get me than Marouane. If they need a manager, they can try and have a chance, but Marouane? Forget it. He's too important for me," Mourinho said. Provided by Press Association

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Alexandre Lacazette helps Arsenal lift Emirates Cup despite Sevilla loss

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Alexandre Lacazette

Alexandre Lacazette marked his first start at the Emirates Stadium with a goal to help Arsenal lift the Emirates Cup despite losing to Sevilla.

The club-record signing came off the bench in Saturday's comfortable win over Benfica but played from the start against Sevilla as the Gunners slipped to a 2-1 loss.

The rules of the competition dictate that every goal is rewarded with a point, meaning that despite Sevilla winning both of their games, Arsenal retain their own pre-season trophy after hitting five past Benfica.

Joaquin Correa had put the LaLiga outfit ahead early in the second half but Lacazette, who had been having a mixed afternoon, tapped home to level for Arsene Wenger's side, only for Steven N'Zonzi to hit a fantastic winner. Laurent Koscielny had the game's first effort on target but his header was well-held by David Soria, while Sevilla's Wissam Ben Yedder could only hit the post after being played in by a slide-rule pass from Ever Banega.

Arsenal's Hector Bellerin, playing his first game of pre-season having turned out for Spain's Under-21s at the European Championship, was guilty of firing over wildly from close range after a pinpoint cross from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Danny Welbeck was the next to fluff his lines, only able to hit the side-netting after a cheeky effort with the outside of his boot having been released by Lacazette. Sevilla took the lead soon after the interval as Correa finished cutely past Petr Cech as Arsenal toiled to create chances at the other end. Lacazette fired straight at Soria just before the hour mark but he finally found the back of the net shortly after, turning home Oxlade-Chamberlain's low cross at the far post after Welbeck's flick. Former Blackburn and Stoke midfielder N'Zonzi put Sevilla back in front with a superbly-taken strike from the edge of the box. Lacazette was replaced by Theo Walcott late on but the Gunners could not find an equaliser - although they still ended the weekend lifting silverware.

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