Nemanja Matic reveals reason he left Man Utd also provides honest thoughts on Erik ten Hag


Nemanja Matic reveals reason he left Man Utd also provides honest thoughts on Erik ten Hag


Nemanja Matic’s five-year spell at Manchester United ended in June, allowing him to join Italian giants Roma and play under former Red Devils manager Jose Mourinho again


Nemanja Matic has revealed he left Erik ten Hag’s Manchester United for Jose Mourinho’s Roma in the summer to play more often.


The Serbia international, 34, was granted a free transfer by the Red Devils after five years of service. He was brought to Old Trafford by Mourinho after their time together at Chelsea, where they won a Premier League and EFL Cup double during the 2014/15 campaign.



Matic made 189 appearances for United during that time but saw his minutes limited towards the end of his spell by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick. The midfielder made just 16 Premier League starts last season and only 12 during the 2020/21 campaign.


Matic has played more frequently at Roma, featuring in all nine of their fixtures this season in Serie A and the Europa League. More importantly, though, he’s started seven of those games to help Mourinho’s side pick up five wins and one draw.


“I needed a new challenge because I never started playing football for money, it was because I enjoyed being on the pitch,” Matic told The Times. “I wanted to play more, so once I had the call from Jose, I was quite sure I made the right decision.”

Although he’s now left Old Trafford, Matic was impressed by the club’s decision to appoint Erik ten Hag. That remains a gamble, as the Dutchman had never managed a first-team squad outside of his homeland following spells with Go Ahead Eagles, Utrecht and Ajax.


Yet he did have a spell coaching Bayern Munich’s second team during Pep Guardiola’s time at the Bavarian club and enjoyed plenty of success at Ajax, winning six trophies – including three Eredivisie titles – while playing an eye-catching brand of football.





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