Mateo Kovacic is a player that wasn’t really highly rated before his arrival at Chelsea on a loan deal during the summer transfer window. However, the narrative has since changed in just over a month. His unpopularity amongst mostly English football fans wasn’t down to his lack of skill or football know-how, it was because of the circumstances that surrounded his stay at Real Madrid.
Since Kovacic joined Real, he hardly got regular game time due to the competition and depth in Real Madrid’s midfield. The presence of ‘more trusted’ midfielders like Toni Kroos and Luka Modric didn’t help his cause either. But Sarri has followed his career, and knows what the man can bring to the table. That is the reason he signed him from his parent club, albeit on a loan deal.
To say the man hasn’t been everything we expected and more since his move to Chelsea is an understatement. And that makes you wonder what really could have gone wrong in Spain. He has taken off to an absolute flying start, and Chelsea have been better for. I didn’t see enough of him in Spain, so I too was a bit skeptical as to how much he was truly needed at Chelsea, but these past months had been anything, but disappointing. The man has slotted in seamlessly into the starting eleven, and it’s no wonder he has relegated Cesc Fabregas to the bench.
Now, what remains is for Chelsea to move to make the move permanent, no matter what it takes because the man has shown he can bring good quality to our team.
With Fabregas also nearing the end of his peak, I cannot think of a better replacement than the Croatian, Kovacic. He has an eye for a pass like the Spaniard, with the added advantage of better stamina and work rate. It will be interesting to see him link up with a ‘proper striker’, especially with the ones we have at the moment misfiring, but if his gem of a pass to Hazard last Sunday is anything to go by, it would definitely be a blessing to us.