Frank Lampard surprised at Chelsea selling Nemanja Matic to Manchester United

Frank Lampard surprised at Chelsea selling Nemanja Matic to Manchester United

Frank Lampard surprised at Chelsea selling Nemanja Matic to Manchester United

Antonio Conte admits that Nemanja Matic is a "great loss" to the Chelsea team following the midfielder's move to Manchester United.

Matic reunited with his former manager Jose Mourinho, and when the deal was announced the United manager thanked him, thus essentially verifying that Matic must have pushed to get his transfer over the line.

Chelsea have added Tiémoué Bakayoko to their midfield ranks to provide cover for Matic's departure.

Tottenham Hotspur, for instance, have been lambasted publicly by one of their own players for a lack of ambition; Liverpool's best player has handed in a transfer request; Pep Guardiola has made good signings but apparently still wants more; Arsenal are going through the same mental process they do every year, so no problem there.

Conte spoke glowingly about Matic this morning at Sky Sports' live Premier League launch, saying: "Matic knows very well what I think about him".

Having patrolled the middle of the park so effectively for the Blues as they clinched the Premier League title in 2016/17, Matic was expected was to provide similar service towards their title defence this season.

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"He gets the ball, he tackles, he allows others to play - you saw that with Chelsea". You would applaud that but those players aren't even at the club now. "It was certainly a position that Manchester United as a team needed to strengthen, and they've gone and done it with Matic". He is probably the best in England alongside N'Golo Kante.

And Lampard has expressed his surprise at seeing Chelsea such an important player to a rival.

"Bakayoko has not and I saw him in the Champions League a year ago". He will take time to settle.

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"I think the [Matic] sale at this moment in time, with that Chelsea squad, could cost them the league".

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