Chelsea target is ‘best player in Portugal’, says Stepanovic

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Chelsea transfer target Nemanja Matic is the ‘best player in Portugal’, according to former-Yugoslavia international Dragoslav Stepanovic.

Matic – who joined Benfica from Chelsea as part of the David Luiz deal in January 2011 - plays for Serbia tonight against Croatia with Blues boss Jose Mourinho expected to be in attendance.

Reports claim Mourinho is keen to watch the defensive midfielder personally before sanctioning any possible January move.

And ahead of tonight’s game Stepanovic has heaped praise on the Chelsea target, calling him the best player in the Portuguese top flight. But after several months out of the national team set-up, Stepanovic believes he shouldn’t start the game.

“Matic is an interesting player, the best for me in Portugal this year,” said the former-international. “I believe he will adapt easily to the playing style of the team, but I would not put him in the starting eleven.

“He will be under a lot of pressure, and in these situations a player tends to put even more pressure on himself, which is not good.”

Mourinho was busy in the transfer market this summer, but didn’t pick up a defensive midfielder. Marco van Ginkel was brought in from Vitesse, but he’s primarily operated in an advanced midfield position when brought off the bench this season.

Matic is much more of an orthodox defensive midfielder.

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