Back in 2014, Nemanja Matić was not a particularly well-known name in the Premier League.
The Serbian had been a Chelsea player between 2009 and 2011, whereby he only played three games in two seasons, although one season was spent on loan at Eredivisie outfit Vitesse. He was sold in 2011 to Portuguese outfit Benfica in order to facilitate the signing of David Luiz.
However, after wining the 2012/13 Primeira Liga Player of the Year as well as well as being part of the team that would win the Primeira Liga title the next season, he was back on Chelsea’s radar.
The Blues re-signed him in January 2014 for £19m, and many regarded him as the missing piece in the puzzle for José Mourinho’s team, who were aiming for the Premier League.
However, while a large number of Chelsea fans took to Twitter to celebrate the signing of the 6ft 4 midfielder, there was an equally high number of those that were critical of him and Chelsea.
This is what the fans had to say:
@chelseafc Welcome back time to win the league
— Joe Zecca (@JoeZecca91) January 15, 2014
@chelseafc great signing will fit in the team perfectly
— Phoenix Waugh (@PhoenixWaugh) 15 January 2014
he will give our midlfield a new dimension. nom we can race for the title.
— abdel wahab (@leKrismatiK) 15 January 2014
@chelseafc welcome home Matic! So glad to have you back!
— Connor Ballantyne (@TheLankyOne1) 15 January 2014
@chelseafc wow dats unbeleiveble finaly we make it up auto matic
— sunday john (@franklin_55565) 16 January 2014
@chelseafc I never understood the sense in letting him go. Welcome back Matic!
— MICHAEL ADJEI-DJAN (@GLOVUSS) 15 January 2014
@chelseafc nice signing hope he will be a rock at the midfield
— adilbeiraz (@adilmata64) 15 January 2014
@chelseafc welcome back matic! Enjoy your stay.
— Ben Podevin (@BenPodevin8) 15 January 2014
On the other hand, these fans were not too happy with the signing:
Another pointless signing that shouldnt play over Mata “@chelseafc: We’re delighted to announce the signing of Nemanja Matic from Benfica.”
— Connor Mack (@GuessWhosMack) 15 January 2014
@chelseafc why do we need him?
— Ryan Lines (@Ry_Lines) 15 January 2014
— Russell Heaps (@russellheaps) 15 January 2014
@chelseafc Why ???????
— Wilson (@Wilson_TheDog) 15 January 2014
Upon his arrival at Stamford Bridge, Matić not only managed to help Chelsea win the Premier Leauge, he also made the Premier League Team of the Year.
The Serbian went on to win two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and a League Cup, which made his £19m price-tag look very modest indeed. He was sold to Man United in the summer of 2017 to team up again with Mourinho, in a deal that baffled many Chelsea fans. Needless to say, he proved many doubters wrong at Chelsea.
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