Kovacic admits he didn’t know Chelsea midfielder was this good

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Mateo Kovacic is having a brilliant season for Chelsea, and the Croatia International has formed a good partnership with Jorginho in the middle of the park.

Kovacic joined Chelsea last year from Real Madrid with a loan deal that was eventually made permanent just this summer, while Jorginho came alongside Maurizio Sarri from Napoli.

Jorginho has been spectacular in midfield under Frank Lampard, and Kovacic has now admitted that he didn’t know the Italy international was this good.

“I watched Jorginho when he was at Napoli, when we played against each other, but I think now he is getting even better,” the Croatian told the official Chelsea website.

“He is a great player. I didn’t know he was so good, but when you train with him you see it. I’m enjoying it, I think he is as well, and we need to keep working on that.”

Kovacic and Jorginho have been hailed for their partnership in midfield, and Lampard has put it down to the freedom that has given the duo.

Asked why Jorginho and Kovacic are playing well together this season, Chelsea boss Frank Lampard told talkSPORT: “The credit has to go to them both, and all the other players who are doing well at the moment.

“It is all on them and all I and the staff do – I always mention the staff because you work so hard with them – when you come in fresh you try to bring in new ideas and implement them on the training ground and then it is up to the players.

“In terms of those two I’ve just tried to give them the freedom to find a pass. Particularly with Kovacic, for instance, he’s got that ability to go past people in midfield which is pretty rare. So they can take players out of action in the central areas and be expansive when they can be.

“The rest is down to them. They’ve got great character and they do drive the team from central areas.

“You see that with Jorginho; he is always pushing people on and talking, and that is huge for you.”

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