Chelsea look set to complete a pair of moves in the next 24 hours, finalizing the transfer of Kevin De Bruyne to Wolfsburg while bringing Nemanja Matic back from Benfica. While the two are completely separate transactions, there are certainly enough parallels that they're forever going to be linked.
Matic was sent to Benfica three years ago for about €5 million, while De Bruyne was brought in from Genk for something approaching €8 million. It looks as if Chelsea will end up paying about €26 million for Matic, while receiving about €22 million for De Bruyne that could rise by another €3 million or so. While I'd certainly think Matic will end up on a slightly larger wage than De Bruyne, overall, the money is fairly similar.
Neither player originally arrived at Chelsea at a young enough age to become homegrown, club trained, or association trained going forward. Neither still qualify as either a U21 or list B player, so both would need to be given one of Chelsea's 17 restriction-free roster spots for the season (and every future season while at Chelsea).
Matic and De Bruyne play very different roles, with Matic filling a more pressing immediate need than the Belgian. Chelsea have incredible attacking depth both in front of De Bruyne and out on loan, while their midfield has been lacking for years. In terms of the squad right now, Matic is clearly a more useful player for Chelsea.
De Bruyne is several years younger than Matic though, and could easily develop into the another player that we regret giving up on so early. Still, someone had to make way in order to bring in Matic, and in many regards, De Bruyne was logical. I'm interested to see everyone else's thought on the matter though, please vote in the poll and feel free to discuss the moves in the comments section below.