Nemanja Matic's move to Manchester United has proven to be one of the most instrumental signings from the summer transfer window, providing the Red Devils with much need assurance in the centre of the park.
The absence of Matic in the Chelsea team has seen some surprising results, despite not having his best season during last year's campaign. His presence alongside N'Golo Kante has been sorely missed, with Tiemoue Bakayoko yet to reach the maturity and calmness that the Serbian possesses.
With Chelsea and Manchester United preparing for a heavyweight clash on Sunday, Blues keeper Thibaut Courtois spoke of his former teammate's departure during the summer, and how the club were helpless in his desire to leave for Manchester to reunite with Jose Mourinho.
As reported by the Independent, the Belgian was asked whether the players were surprised at the Serbian's exit. He said: “That’s not my decision to make. Those are questions you need to ask to the people who made that happen.
"If a player nowadays wants to go to a team, then he has - I don’t want to say the power - but if he has a strong will to leave and join another team then it is hard for the club. You cannot just ignore him and say ‘you cannot leave’ because then you have a disappointed player who won’t play at his best."
"So obviously for us you give a player to another big team, but they are choices that are made in football and we have some quality midfielders, so I hope we can show on Sunday that we are better.”
The 25 year-old went on to hint that Chelsea's decision to sell the holding midfielder means that they have lost some much needed balance in midfield.
"We know Nemanja’s qualities, he is someone who last year gave us the balance as well. He decided to go to another team, so we won’t live in the past. Our midfield is very good, we have very strong players so I don’t know if we miss him."
Courtois and Chelsea play host to Matic and Manchester United in a top four clash that promises to be an enticing Premier League affair