ESPN pundit Don Hutchison has claimed that Mateo Kovacic is currently the favourite player of Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel.

Tuchel has taken charge of seven games in all competitions since becoming the Blues manager and his team take on Atletico Madrid on Tuesday night in the Champions League last 16 first leg. 

He is yet to suffer defeat as Chelsea manager and his new-look side have improved defensively, but are still having problems in front of goal.

Kovacic, 26, has started the last six consecutive Premier League games, as well as featuring off the bench in the FA Cup win over Barnsley.

The £40million (BBC) central midfielder has been an ever-present alongside either Jorginho or N’Golo Kante.

Pundit Hutchison has singled out Kovacic as the individual that has most won over the new manager. 

“He seems to love Kovacic, he’s his favourite player so far. I think he plays N’Golo Kante alongside with him [against Atletico Madid]” Hutchison told ESPN.

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The Chronicle View

Chelsea fans watched Kovacic at his dazzling best in the 2019/20 season, with signs under Tuchel that he is beginning to rediscover that kind of form.

The Croatia international is such an effective player in the midfield, as he’s got great close control and can dribble forward into space. Additionally, he’s got a great work-rate off the ball and is defensively astute. 

Mason Mount and Timo Werner are two indvidiauls that deserve to be in the conversation now under favourites for Tuchel, but Kovacic is certainly in that top bracket that have been performing under him.

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