BBC Sport pundit praises ‘immense’ Chelsea FC midfielder
Garth Crooks praises Mateo Kovacic for his performance in Chelsea FC's clash with Norwich City on Saturday
Garth Crooks chose to single out Mateo Kovacic for special praise following his “immense” performance for Chelsea FC against Norwich City on Saturday.
The 25-year-old was officially signed to a permanent deal over the summer after he initially arrived at Stamford Bridge on loan from Real Madrid last season.
Kovacic played on Saturday lunchtime in the absence of N’Golo Kante and the Croatia international was in fine form as he notched up an assist and helped the Blues wrap up a 3-2 win.
The midfielder has featured in all three of Chelsea FC’s Premier League games so far this season and Crooks was particularly impressed by his performance on Saturday as the Blues sealed their first top-flight win of the campaign.
Writing in his column for BBC Sport, Crooks said: “Since the departures of Didier Drogba, Michael Ballack, John Terry and Frank Lampard, Chelsea have lacked leadership on the pitch.
“The arrival of Mateo Kovacic at Stamford Bridge didn’t convince me that anything had changed until his performance against Norwich.
“In the absence of N’Golo Kante, the Croatia international looked immense. I knew he could tackle, compete and was full of enthusiasm but I didn’t think he could play.
“Every time I watch him at Stamford Bridge, he plays the ball everywhere apart from where it should have gone.
“His performance against Norwich proved he is much better than that. His manger Lampard may have discovered a player here.”
Chelsea FC will look to make it back to back wins in the Premier League next weekend when they take on Sheffield United in front of their home fans at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues are currently in 13th place in the Premier League table after having taken four points from their opening three games under Frank Lampard.
The west London side are targeting a top-four finish at the very least this season after they finished third last term.