There’s a tremendously skillful footballer hidden deep inside Mateo Kovačić, but for some reason, we don’t get to see it very often.
He certainly doesn’t score many goals — three (3!) in the last four (4!) years — and when deployed in a deeper role like at the start of last night’s game, he doesn’t even get to show off his dribbling skills that had everyone confuse him with Eden Hazard for the first few weeks of his loan to Chelsea from Real Madrid.
Towards the end of last night’s game however, after Jorginho replaced Ross Barkley and Kovačić got pushed further forward, we did get a glimpse of a more adventurous player, one who absolutely destroyed his defender with this heel-turn variation on the touchline.
Too bad the linesman brought the move to a crashing halt soon after. He’s definitely no fun at parties.
Kovačić looks set to leave Chelsea after his loan is up at the end of the season, which is unfortunate as we could always use excellent footballers who can fit in at any top level team, in just about any system.