Nemanja Matic, assist machine

Chris Brunskill

Hands up if you were expecting Nemanja Matic to be second on the team's assist charts in mid-April. Liars. Four matches ago, the big Serbian was doing basically what was expected of him -- disrupting opposition attacks and recycling possession in fairly aggressive fashion. He was most definitely not scoring goals or racking up assists.

But apparently that's because nobody thought to ask him to. Since kickoff against Arsenal, Matic has enough assists to move level with Fernando Torres to second on Chelsea's Premier League assist charts:

Table via ESPN; click to enlarge

That's two versus Arsenal, the winning assist against Stoke for Mohamed Salah's goal, and the pass for Demba Ba's strike at Swansea City, a very nice haul for 360 minutes of play.

I suppose expecting Matic to keep up his recent goal-providing form would be too much to ask, but it's great that the big Serbian has defence-splitting-through-ball in his arsenal as well as everything else. Turning Kevin de Bruyne into Matic this January is looking increasingly like the best bit of business we've done in ages...

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