Nemanja Matic has revealed how much he and Jose Mourinho understand each other, with the Chelsea star claiming he can even read his manager's mind and that sometimes verbal directions are not needed.
As the Stamford Bridge club sit at the summit of the Premier League, six points ahead of closest rivals Manchester City, they head into a period of the season where a series of congested fixtures will go a long way to deciding if they can maintain their position and claim the title.
It has been an ominously good start to the season for Mourinho's side, an unbeaten start, and Matic has been as important to that run as any other player. The Serbia international has become an imposing figure in front of the Blues defence and is now indispensable to Mourinho.
The £21million signing from Benfica in January revealed that his success is down to the instructions he gets from his Portuguese boss, but that these are not necessarily spoken to him. Matic's relationship with Mourinho is so good that he feels he can sometimes read his boss' mind.
“Jose has helped me a lot. He gave me that confidence to play my game. Before every game he gives me a clear message what I have to do," he said in an interview with Sky Sports.
"Sometimes he doesn’t have to say anything, he just looks at me and I know what he thinks I have to do in the next situation. He’s a great coach and I hope we will continue like this and that I will continue to improve with him.”
While it's unlikely that the pair have an actual telepathic relationship going, Matic's unwavering belief that he has Mourinho's trust and a full understanding of what he must do to please his manager is indicative of the way Mourinho gets the best out of his players.
Nobody can argue against the assertion that Chelsea currently have one of the best managers that has ever lived at the helm and Matic's words give a small insight into what it is that makes him so successful.
It has been a successful return to Stamford Bridge for the 26-year-old, who was used as a makeweight in the purchase of David Luiz from Benfica three years ago. He has no hard feelings towards the club about being discarded at the time, quite the opposite in fact; Matic believes i was this move that made him the highly-valued player he is today.
“I got some experience there. I played in a good league at a big club. Also I was fighting for the title, played in the Champions League and the final of the Europa League," he added.
"Of course, these games make you a better player and help you to improve so it was a good time for me there."