Mateo Kovačić is loving life in London, playing more minutes at Chelsea Football Club than he ever did at Real Madrid and proving a crucial cog in Maurizio Sarri’s midfield already.
Although he has yet to find his scoring touch, Kovačić, who continues to look and run and dribble in an eerily and confusingly similar way to Eden Hazard, has blended instantly with Jorginho and N’Golo Kanté to give Chelsea one of the strongest midfields in the Premier League. (And his presence has also challenged Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek to raise their games.)
And all that is raising the obvious question. Or, re-raising, to be more precise, since it was a constant topic of conversation in the summer. If he’s this good for Chelsea, will he turn his season-long loan from Real Madrid into a permanent transfer, possibly through an already agreed upon buy-option?
Kovačić may or may not be thinking about it. But he’s not yet ready to talk about it.
“It’s too early for these questions, I am here and very happy. We have a great team, great fans and the city is nice. I like it a lot here.”
That’s a good start, obviously. And it always helps when the family are enjoying their new surroundings well.
“I go around and I enjoy the city — it’s huge and I haven’t seen enough of it yet. I’m looking forward to getting to know it more. I’m enjoying it. What’s the most interesting thing I’ve seen so far? The stadium.
”I don’t do anything special. I spend a lot of time in Cobham because I need to prepare myself for training and every game but after that I go home and enjoy time with my wife. Nothing special, we go for dinner, we live in the city so we are walking a lot. My family enjoys the city and that’s the most important thing for me in the end.”
Mateo Kovačić; source: Evening Standard
Just three months into his tenure at Chelsea, it would be unreasonable of us to expect Kovačić to commit his future to the club. That’s going to take time, and probably money and Real Madrid’s willingness to sell (assuming that his deal isn’t a loan-to-buy, which would probably be too good to be true).
But at least right now both he and Chelsea are happy with how things are going. It’s something to build on.