Mourinho hails Man United new signing Matic

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Jose Mourinho has admitted Manchester United's signing of Nemanja Matic was a pleasant surprise this transfer window, as he had believed a deal with Chelsea to be "impossible".

"I heard whispers at the back end of last season that he wanted to go and even if the club can not come out and say too much about that, maybe there was an element of that in play here when this deal went through".

And he has wasted no time settling in, producing a resolute, commanding display at the base of midfield on his competitive debut against Real Madrid.

"When I joined United previous year I thought immediately that we needed a Matic". "There are not many - there are just a couple - but I thought that".

Despite that miss potentially denying United a chance at taking the Champions League winners the distance, Mournho was happy with his new number nine.

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"And I'm hoping he'll do that with United - freedom for [Paul] Pogba, [Anthony] Martial, [Jesse] Lingard and [Henrikh] Mkhitaryan - these players really need to step up this year I think".

"He is good enough, he is at the club he wants to be at, he has got lots of people there who will support him, his friends are there, and he will do just fine".

"I think he's one of these players where there are no question marks in front". The importance for me about this player, who is a really good player, a top player, very important for our team, but sometimes you must accept this insane transfer market.

"And that's something I really like in players - consistency". I have seen him work on the field and in the gym.

It was often said that Roy Keane was Sir Alex Ferguson on the pitch; and Matic, whether at Chelsea or United, clearly serves as the Portuguese's chief inflictor of his ruthless vision. Not pretty, not likeable, but always effective. We hope it is a good year for him and the team.

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