Tuchel: I love Kovacic | Goal.com

As Chelsea’s boss sorts through his squad, he’s become a quick fan of the Croatian playmaker

Thomas Tuchel has already determined that midfielder Mateo Kovacic will be one of his favourite players at Chelsea.

After Kovacic picked apart Newcastle in a 2-0 win on Monday, the manager heaped appreciation on a player who at 26 already possesses a wealth of big-game experience with stops at Inter Milan and Real Madrid before joining the Blues.

The Croatian’s work-rate has made a particularly significant impression on his new boss.

What did Tuchel say about Kovacic?

“I love him,” Tuchel told the 5th Stand. “You can wake him up at 3 a.m. and he will be ready to train at Cobham at 3:15.”

What did Kovacic do against Newcastle?

Kovacic completed 95.6 percent of his team-high 91 pass attempts, including all four of his long ball attempts and his lone through ball try. He also led the Blues with eight successful dribbles and covered 10.21 km of space.

His combination of vision, ability with the ball and energy are what can make him so good when in his best form.

What’s next for Kovacic?

Kovacic figures to be a fixture in Chelsea’s lineup for the rest of the year as the club pushes for a top-four finish. A starring appearance for Croatia in this summer’s Euros awaits after the campaign.

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