Chelsea hero hails star’s turnaround

Former Chelsea midfielder and coach Ray Wilkins is thrilled with the way in which Nemanja Matic has turned his career around.

The Serbian signed for the Blues as a promising youngster, but after just a handful of appearances in the first-team and a long spell in the reserves during his three-year stay he was shipped out to Benfica as part of the deal for David Luiz in 2011.

He then shone in Portuguese football, building a reputation as one of the best holding midfielders in Europe with some robust displays.

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This convinced Chelsea to re-sign him earlier this year in a deal worth in excess of £20m, and Matic has since built further on his reputation.

Wilkins was a member of the coaching staff at Chelsea when the now 26-year-old was initially allowed to exit, and played a big role in getting him out of the club.

Now the former Stamford Bridge hero says that he’s thrilled to see the way in which Matic has turned things around and that he’s happy to have been proved wrong:

“When he left a few years ago, I was instrumental in that. He was half the size, wasn’t influential in a game for the reserves and looked as if he was drifting.” He told talkSPORT.

“Then he left to go to Benfica and, full credit to him, he showed what he was all about. He has come back twice the size, he is huge, and he is performing outstandingly well.”

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