Jose Mourinho needs a veteran to stabilize his defensive midfield. Buying Nemanja Matic in January could give Tottenham just that.
At 31 years of age, it’s clear that Nemanja Matic’s shelf life as a productive Premier League midfielder is going to be very short. That doesn’t mean he’d be a poor purchase for Tottenham when the January transfer window opens.
Predictably, the out-of-favour Manchester United star is being linked with a move to Spurs by English sources including The Sun. Matic is a long-time favourite of new Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho. He’s employed him with varying degrees of success in the past at both United and Chelsea.
More interesting is the very reasonable price United have put on the veteran’s head. Reportedly, they only want £15 million to pry him out of Old Trafford. At that price, it’s absolutely a move Spurs should consider.
Mourinho clearly wants to rely on Eric Dier to anchor his double-pivot, but the young Englishman has looked mediocre at best during Mourinho’s first three matches in charge of the North London club. The hope is that increased match time will allow Dier to rediscover the form that made him a staple of the England squad just two seasons ago.
That doesn’t mean Tottenham should carry on without a solid insurance plan. Unless Victor Wanyama is somehow able to turn back the clock on his own career, it’s obvious that Spurs need to find a true defender to play alongside the likes of Tanguy Ndombele or Harry Winks. That’s the ideal role for Matic at this stage of his career.
The question, of course, is whether or not the venerable Serbian has enough juice left in his legs to play for a club capable of challenging for a place in the top four. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes the answer to that question is an emphatic no. That’s why he’s only played 160 minutes of Premier League football on the campaign.
At the very least, Spurs could employ him as a valuable mentor to the rest of their midfield options. There may not be a player on Earth that understands how Mourinho wants his team to operate better than Matic. Paying £15 million for a part-time player who can help get the rest of his teammates up to speed could prove to be a clever January investment for Tottenham.