Chelsea have continued their pursuit of younger targets and finally wrapped up a deal for Serbian Nemanja Matic from MFK Kosice.
Earlier this summer I made a call for the club to embrace a more youth-focused transfer policy (bringing in bigger names where available and reasonably priced) and, like many other fans, was encouraged when the likes of Sturridge and Turnbull were brought to Stamford Bridge.
Since then, a series of younger players left Chelsea either on permenant or loan deals, including Di Santo, Sahar, Tejera, Stoch, Nouble and Mancienne. Whilst I completely accepted that the law of averages says that some players simply won't make it, as it became that each player wouldn't make an impact at Chelsea (or at least not this season) it increasingly seemed to me like Arnesen and Chelsea's youth policy were going well and truly down the drain. When Charlton's Jonjo Shelvey knocked us back to hold out for a potential move to West Ham, Chelsea's ability to attract the best young talent looked terminal.
Today however there's a bit of better news - MFK Kosice have announced that the long-rumoured transfer to Chelsea of their talented 21-year-old midfielder, Nemanja Matic, has gone through. Supposedly Chelsea have paid around £1.5m for the Serbian's services (not a huge monetary risk to take in this day and age) and he'll be ready to train and make appearances for the reserves once he fully recovers from a metatarsal injury sustained during this summer's European under-21 Championship.
Of course, one signing alone doesn't suggest Chelsea are suddenly a destination of choice for promising youngsters and I'd clearly like to see us take more of a chance on younger players. But it's an encouraging sign. Fingers crossed this one doesn't go the way of Sahar and Tejera.
I don't know much about Chelsea's new signing - only that he plays in central midfield, had a trial with Middlesborough last season, is over 6'4" and has made 74 appearances for Kosice (scoring 4 goals) and two appearances for the national side. Anyone seen him play?
You might be interested to read:
- JustChelsea.com posted an early look at Nemanja Matic in some detail here. Check it out - apparently he's the Serbian Vieira