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Mateo Kovacic has been brilliant for Chelsea this season, and the performance of the Croatian has been drawing praise from all corners.
Kovacic has come a long way in his career. After impressing in his homeland for Dinamo Zagreb as a youngster, he made a big money move to Inter Milan at 18. Three years after, Kovacic signed up for Real Madrid, before joining Chelsea on loan last season and signing permanently during the summer.
There has been marked improvements in Kovacic’s game this season compared to last season, and the Croatian is enjoying more successful dribbles this term.
Kovacic has now admitted that the Premier League is a tough league and that there are usually strong challenges when you try to run with the ball.
He said: “I remember my first game from the beginning, against Bournemouth at home. They were strong guys, and the referees don’t usually give the fouls. But that’s good for me now! I like it. It’s a tough game. But you can really enjoy it when you have great players around you.”
Meanwhile, Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has urged Kovacic to add goals to his game.
Asked if he wants goals from Kovacic, Lampard said: “Yes. I do and he does. The quality he has shown in big parts this season, and I think the natural progression is goals and we are working on that one.
“You might see a big smile if he scores, not just from me but from the group because we know he has the quality to score and that will be the next step.”