Chelsea’s new signing Nemanja Matic is raring to go and has said he has joined the West London club to help them win the Premier League, reports Sky Sports.
Matic signed for Chelsea on Wednesday from Benfica for £22 million, reports The Telegraph’s Matt Law. The deal has been heralded as a bargain for the Blues as Matic had a £37 million release clause in his Benfica contract, and Portuguese football experts believe £22 million for the player is excellent value for money, says Law.
In the same report, Law reminds us that Matic was valued under £5 million when he joined Benfica as part of the £23.5m deal that took Luiz to Stamford Bridge.
The arrival of the towering midfielder is another sign that Jose Mourinho is trying to build a reputable squad capable of challenging on all fronts. He already has a host of talent at his disposal, but the arrival of one of Europe's rising stars will send a message across the Premier League.
Mourinho knows that change is needed at Stamford Bridge, and Roman Abramovich has given the Chelsea boss the power to decide whether he renews the contracts of John Terry, Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard, reports Jeremy Wilson in The Telegraph.
The midfielder, who stands at 6'4", has made it clear he has joined Chelsea to win trophies and is not scared of playing for a big club.
I've played regularly in a big club at Benfica, where it is not easy and there is a lot of pressure. In those years I learned to be a winner and play under that pressure. I developed tactically in Portugal also, training very hard and I believe I am better physically also.
The signing of Matic will be the first of many in the next 12 months for Chelsea as Jose Mourinho looks set to establish his identity on the club. According to Law's writing in The Telegraph on 9 January, the Portuguese tactician will go for Wayne Rooney again in the summer.
Chelsea's failure to sign the England international may have sent the message that the club could no longer attract the top stars.
Whilst Chelsea have struggled up front, they have had problems in midfield too, with many players competing for three attacking midfield slots behind the main striker.
Moments of genius from Eden Hazard and Oscar have propelled Chelsea into the title picture. A recently good run of form from Fernando Torres has also not gone unnoticed.
But Matic’s arrival will add another layer of defensive cover to let the attacking and creative players venture further forward, almost masking their lack of striking options.
This will mean the increased likelihood of a host of fringe players either leaving this January or in the summer, including England international Frank Lampard.
Despite signing a new 12-month contract extension upon the arrival of Mourinho last summer, per Martin Lipton in the Daily Mirror, Frank Lampard looks set to leave Chelsea.
His agent, Steve Kutner, warned that the midfielder will not be renewing his contract this summer and will look to move on, reported Sky Sports via the Daily Mirror.
For Matic, he is already showing the ambition Lampard had when he arrived at Stamford Bridge in 2001. Speaking to Chelsea TV, he has set the target of winning the Premier League and, in the future, the Champions League.
Matic has been likened to Michael Ballack, an imposing and commanding midfield general that the Blues lack.
His height will make him dangerous from set pieces whilst he is known to break up moves just as quickly as he can break down opposition attacks.
There is no doubting Chelsea’s ambition. The arrival of Matic is another step in the right direction of the new Mourinho project.