Mateo Kovacic was recalled to the starting XI on Wednesday night for the Champions League group stage fixture against Ajax – and some Chelsea fans on Twitter were left raving about his contribution.
Frank Lampard’s team made it six wins in a row across all competitions by beating Ajax in Amsterdam 1-0 in the European match.
Substitute Michy Batshuayi scored a dramatic late 86th minute winner to secure three points, as the young vibrant Blues team proved they are heading firmly in the right direction.
Chelsea’s young crop went toe to toe with Ajax in their own backyard and deserved a narrow win against last season’s Champions League semi-finalists.
There is a real feel-good factor that Lampard has managed to introduce and a strong core of academy players in the first-team has certainly helped.
But there are also some senior figures setting the example and are helping to form a lovely blend.
A selection of Chelsea supporters on social media picked out Kovacic for his European performance and believe he was pivotal.
Kovacic formed an excellent midfield pivot next to teammate Jorginho and showed his class against Ajax.
The Croatia international spent last season on loan at Stamford Bridge and was decent without being spectacular, which is why some eyebrows were raised when £40million (BBC) was spent to sign him permanently this summer from Real Madrid.
He is a central midfielder with such a low centre of gravity and is a great dribbler, while against Ajax he kept care of possession efficiently and worked tirelessly for the team.
The 25-year-old is an underrated member of the Blues squad that is an engine in the midfield when he plays and keeps getting better.
Here are some Chelsea fans on Kovacic:
Kovacic and Jorginho are mustard together aren’t they? #CFC
— CFC In. CFC Out. (@CFC1905_12) October 24, 2019
Kovacic appreciation tweet 👏👏👏👏👏#cfc
— pe’er (@sire_buoro) October 24, 2019
Kovacic was immense man of the match easily
— Jagan (@Jagan_CFC) October 24, 2019
Mateo Kovačić was quality tonight, he’s getting better and better under Lampard.
What a great player we have on our hands, one of the most underrated ballers in Europe for sure. pic.twitter.com/v5eWVGBM07
— Mitchell (@CFC_Mitchell) October 23, 2019
— Vasa Gold (@N_A_1_M_A_D) October 23, 2019
Kovačić was insane today. It doesn’t look like he has bulked up, but he seems so much stronger on the ball, best player on the pitch alongside Tomori overall today.
— ً (@CFCBrano) October 23, 2019
Kovacic was class tonight
— Aarouna Sandsé__CFC (@BOYA_SANDS) October 23, 2019
Kovacic was arguably the best player on the pitch today #CFC
— Mansamusa (@athundermusaCFC) October 23, 2019