Sky Sports expert and former England midfielder Jamie Redknapp has boldly claimed that Chelsea’s current powerhouse Nemanja Matic could go on to eclipse club legend Claude Makelele.
During Jose Mourinho’ spell in charge at the club his Chelsea era between 2004-2007 was almost defined by Makelele. The Frenchman had a role now exclusively named after him at the best of a ‘Christmas tree’ midfield and provided impregnable protection for the defence.
In 2014 however, that role is being wonderfully executed by Matic in his own unique style and Redknapp believes the Serbian’s name may now be more synonymous with that position than Makelele had.
Redknapp said: “For John Terry and (Gary) Cahill when they have Matic in front of them, it must be a dream because he is the perfect shield. He just sits in front, always protecting them.
“I remember playing against Makelele and thinking he is the best defensive midfielder I have ever seen, but if Matic keeps it up in the form he is in, then he could surpass him.
“This guy has a cultured left foot, always has his head up and plays like he has time on the ball.
He is a much better player than people give him credit for, he’s not just a shield, it’s what he does when he has the ball. He doesn’t mess around on the ball or showboat, he just does his thing simply.”