Jose Mourinho’s arrival has completely rejuvenated Tottenham Hotspur, who picked up their first away win in the Premier League this season with a hard-fought 3-2 win over West Ham United.
However, the road to the top-four is still a treacherous one for the Lily Whites. Mourinho seems to have found his ideal XI from the players he has, but there’s little doubt that he’s itching to make signings in January.
He won’t really be getting much to work with in the winter, but will push for some smart budget buys to bulk up his squad. The Portuguese must be particularly intent on strengthening his midfield options, with Christian Eriksen looking closer to an exit.
Of course, signing an ageing individual past his best could spell disaster. But Matic still has a lot to give under the right coach. Here are three reasons why he’d a clever signing.
He knows Mourinho’s system inside out
Nemanja Matic has been a Jose Mourinho favourite for many years now, having been a regular in both his Chelsea and United squads. He knows what the Portuguese demands from his players, can hold the midfield line perfectly and resonate with his tactics.
Matic isn’t the quickest anymore, but his impressive game-reading ability as well as ability to make interceptions can work wonders for Spurs. He’s an expert when it comes to starting counter-attacks, knowing how to transitioning from defence to attack perfectly. Jose can have someone he can trust and fortify his midfield line to become difficult to penetrate into.
Matic brings much-needed experience with him
Tottenham Hotspur’s change under Mauricio Pochettino saw them investing a lot on keeping a vibrant, younger midfield to hound down the opposition. But Jose Mourinho likes more experienced figures to dictate the pace of the games. With Eriksen set to leave and Moussa Sissoko unlikely to feature much, there isn’t really a lot of experience in their midfield core.
Matic has won everything in England, much of it alongside Mourinho, and knows how to maintain a compact shape in the middle. With his experienced figure, Spurs won’t crumble in a heap during pressure scenarios. He’d be that reassuring figure they’re lacking in midfield and strengthen their structure under the new boss.
He can be a compelling mentor to the youngsters
There isn’t much doubt about how Matic’s signing would be strictly short-term. He realistically has two-to-three years remaining in the tank, meaning he’d only strengthen Spurs for the immediate future. However, he could also have long-term rewards for the North-London giants. Knowing his expertise, the Serbian’s more than capable of mentoring some of the younger midfielders at Spurs.
Harry Winks and Tanguy N’Dombele are both packed with potential, but need some guidance to reach their full potential. Matic could make that happen, advising them how to become more dynamic midfielders in anticipating the opponents movement, style and structuring their own gameplan accordingly. He’d improve their defensive attributes and defer them precious knowledge which makes them more prolific aspects for Spurs in the long-term.