What a remarkable change in fortune for Mateo Kovacic.

From uncertainty over his immediate future in Madrid to finding his feet in London, for Mateo Kovacic, the move to Chelsea has been the r...

From uncertainty over his immediate future in Madrid to finding his feet in London, for Mateo Kovacic, the move to Chelsea has been the right one.

Let’s start by saying this, you do not play for Real Madrid or sign for Real Madrid if you are a bad player! There was something about Kovacic that took their attention and they invested in his talent a few years ago. For whatever reason, Kovacic found it difficult to maintain a place in the side and as a result, found himself out of favour and checking out online pokies rather than play first-team football.

Last summer, Chelsea under Maurizio Sarri engineered a deal to sign Mateo Kovacic on a season-long loan with the option to buy for an agreed fee at the end of the loan arrangement. It came as a surprise to many but for Kovacic himself, it was an opportunity to put his career back on track, to kickstart it once again.

For most of last season, seemingly constrained by the implementation of the tactical approach and additional instructions from the manager, Kovacic as with everyone struggled to come to terms with a flawed philosophy. One that works week-in, week-out in Serie A where three teams at best fight for the title, to the Premier League with six teams, challenging and the bottom side potentially beating the league leaders on their day, Chelsea’s opposition worked out how to play against Sarri-ball and we found ourselves struggling.

However, during the final two months of the season, Mateo Kovacic began to show glimpses of what he was capable of, what he offers our midfield with the licence to go forward and he has never looked back playing an instrumental role in the final of the Europa League celebrated by many at

To this season, under a new manager and given the freedom to express himself with his world-class ability with the ball at his feet, Kovacic has really flourished and has become much more of an influence in our midfield.

Whether that’s working back to defend, to win challenges and to pass it forward, to play in tandem in midfield with the person alongside him to keep possession of the ball, to calm things down to then move forward, to taking control of the ball and driving forward between the lines breaking through challenges with his ability to move away with the ball, Kovacic really has taken his game to another level.

Plenty of people had criticised Mateo Kovacic last season to the point they had questioned as what he brought to the team. This year those questions have stopped as he is, without a shadow of a doubt, my Player of the Year to this point.

What a remarkable change in fortune for Mateo Kovacic and what a bargain for Chelsea!


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