Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel, speaking after the Blues’ win over Newcastle United, has waxed lyrical about midfielder Mateo Kovacic.
Several of the Blues’ players who were not producing their best performance level under Frank Lampard have already shown encouraging signs under Tuchel, with Kovacic, who was voted Chelsea’s player of the year for 2019/20, being one of them.
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The Croat fell below his usual standard in the first-half of the season, losing his starting spot in the process, but has been magnificent under Tuchel so far, with a stellar performance against Newcastle last night clearly leaving his manager impressed.
As quoted by The Athletic’s Simon Johnson on Twitter, Tuchel revealed just what a delight it is to work alongside Kovacic:
“I love him. I could wake the guy at 3 at night and he will be at Cobham at 3.15 ready to give everything. I need to calm the guy down in training, that he’s not doing too much. It’s a pleasure to have him.”
That’s just the kind of player you want in your team. Committed and quality – there’s no combination of qualities in the game which are more likely to see you succeed. It’s no wonder Tuchel’s a fan.