Man Utd urged to offer Matic clean slate as Schmeichel rejects criticism of ‘slow’ Serb

The legendary former Red Devils goalkeeper would like to see a proven performer returned to a holding midfield post if he is now back to full fitness

Nemanja Matic should be offered a clean slate by Manchester United, says Peter Schmeichel, with a club legend claiming the Serb could have an important role to play despite accusations of “being slow”.

A two-time Premier League title winner has taken in five appearances for the Red Devils this season.

Matic has seen just 160 minutes of Premier League football, with his last top-flight outing coming against West Ham on September 22.

Fitness issues have prevented him from being in contention as much as he would have liked, but other options have also been preferred in the middle of the park.

That has sparked transfer talk around the 31-year-old former Chelsea star, with it suggested that he could be among those moved out of Old Trafford during the January window.

Schmeichel is among those hoping no sale will be sanctioned, with the Dane of the opinion that Matic still has a role to play in a youthful Red Devils side.

The iconic goalkeeper claims the Serbia international would have been a useful asset during Sunday’s 3-3 draw at Sheffield United, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer missing an experienced head in the engine room.

Schmeichel told Premier League Productions: “They needed a player like Matic, just to sit in that defensive midfield role and just calm things down.

“He’s been criticised for being slow and playing the ball backwards too many times, but sometimes they needed that.

“I like Fred, but he definitely needs somebody strong, somebody that can control him. ‘

“You want to talk about where Man Utd are in this evolving period, but just the fact that Scott McTominay is not there is a problem.”

Schmeichel has also suggested that United need to start taking a closer look at their collective performances and picking out areas of fault.

Marcus Rashford claimed on the back of a thrilling draw at Bramall Lane that the Red Devils deserved to take something from the game.

Many are not convinced by that, with Solskjaer’s side toiling for long periods, and Schmeichel sees plenty of scope for improvement from a side still searching for consistency.

He added on Rashford’s comments: “One thing is to actually play the game, how you see it and how you feel it. He will remember the last bit of the game and maybe take that over more minutes.

“I think if he watches it back I think he’ll change his mind a little bit. They didn’t exploit the little pockets of space before very late in the game. But full credit to them for carrying on and continuing to believe it and just waiting for that one opportunity that came in the 72nd minute.

“From then on, I actually said it was going to be five because it was that kind of game when you’re suddenly a team that takes over and then you can score more goals. But full credit to Sheffield United for coming back, it was a deserved point for them.”

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