Neville: Chelsea players want 29-year-old back at the club

Phil Neville criticises Chelsea for selling Nemanja Matic to Manchester United in the summer

antonio conte
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte Photo: Screengrab

Phil Neville reckons that Chelsea’s players would be desperate to see Nemanja Matic return to the Stamford Bridge club.

The Blues made the surprising decision to sell Matic to Manchester United in the summer transfer window despite the 29-year-old playing a key role in helping the west London side to win the title last season.

The west London side have been struggling without the injury N’Golo Kante in their midfield in recent weeks as the Frenchman continues to nurse a hamstring problem.

Kante was deemed unfit to play for the Blues on Tuesday night as Chelsea suffered a comprehensive 3-0 loss to Roma in the Champions League in the Italian capital.

And former Manchester United defender Neville reckons that Chelsea’s players would take Matic back at the club in a heartbeat following his move away from Stamford Bridge.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 live on Tuesday night, Neville said: “If you ask any of those Chelsea players who they would want back, they would say Matic.

“You replace him with someone who is going to do the same job! Tiemoue Bakayoko is not that player! He is not a holding midfield player.

“They didn’t replace Matic. I wouldn’t have let him out of the building, I would have chained him to the training ground walls!”

Chelsea will now look to dust themselves down and prepare to get back to winning ways in the Premier League when they host Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon.

The Blues are currently nine points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City in the race for the title.

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