Gary Pallister says Nemanja Matic could have played role under Erik ten Hag next season | Soccer

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Matic was given a warm farewell during his final game at Old Trafford (Image: Getty)

Gary Pallister believes Manchester United would have benefited from keeping Nemanja Matic for Erik ten Hag’s first season at Old Trafford.

The former Serbia international joined United from Chelsea in 2017 but will leave the club when his contract expires at the end of the month.

Matic has already agreed a move to Roma, where he will reunite with former boss Jose Mourinho, who has made 183 appearances for the Manchester club.

A number of high-profile players will leave United when their contracts expire, including Edinson Cavani, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata and Paul Pogba – with the latter’s departure being sensationally dissected in his Amazon documentary The Pogmentary.

While United could benefit from switching players who aren’t part of ten Hag’s plans and have overstayed their welcome, former United star Pallister suggests Matic could have offered something else next season.

AS Roma unveil new signing Nemanja Matic

Matic has already signed a contract with new club Roma (Image: Getty)

“Pogba always wanted to go for free. I didn’t like some of the comments that were made about all of this and what he said in his documentary,” Pallister said on behalf of Bookmaker Bonuses.

‘ The only one I might have kept is Matic. I think he was a really good professional, I don’t think he ever let the team down, I wouldn’t have had any qualms about giving him another year’s contract. He’s a very calm and cool player in midfield.

“That’s where we’ve been lacking and I don’t think he’s ever really let the side down. He’s possibly the only one of the players who left this month that I might have looked at and said, “Maybe another year.”

“I think he could still have gotten a job as a squad player but I think it was his decision to leave and find new pastures. I’m sure he would have known about the possibility of returning to Roma with Jose Mourinho.


Pogba is also due to leave United this month (Picture: Getty)

“And the fans showed him that respect. He’s always been a great professional like Juan Mata. He hasn’t always played the games he would like to always be a very good professional.’

Pogba, meanwhile, is set to leave for £89million after a memorable last season six years after joining the club – which is still a club-record fee.

The Frenchman’s second spell at Old Trafford is seen as hugely disappointing, with success in the Europa League and EFL Cup being the only accolades to show.

“There’s always a lot of baggage with Paul,” said Pallister when assessing Pogba’s time at the club.

“It’s been difficult, you know you have a world-class player on your hands there and I can’t help but feel the Premier League isn’t for him. He has lit games a few times but not consistently enough.

“He doesn’t like the hustle and bustle of the league. It can be grueling and I don’t think that suits Paul Pogba. At Juventus he will have the advantage of being a luxury player who doesn’t have to worry about doing the hard stuff on the pitch. You will probably build a team around it.

“He’s still in demand and can still produce quality moments. But at the moment, like United, they need a bit more in midfield because we can’t afford luxury players at the moment.

MORE : Gary Pallister names three Manchester United youngsters who could join Erik ten Hag’s side next season

MORE: Gary Pallister urges Man Utd to complete Christian Eriksen signing without issue, assesses chances of agreeing deal with Frenkie de Jong

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Manchester United Gary Pallister says Nemanja Matic could have played role under Erik ten Hag next season | Soccer

Nate Jones

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