BBC Pundit hails Chelsea player who was an underrated star vs Tottenham

'Outstanding all season': BBC pundit hails Chelsea player who was an underrated star vs Tottenham

Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic earned a spot in Garth Crooks’ BBC Team of the Week thanks to his contribution towards the Tottenham Hotspur triumph.

Crooks could have selected several of Thomas Tuchel’s squad to make the XI, such was the manner of their 3-0 victory over Spurs.

Thiago Silva was included, thanks to his man of the match display, which was topped off by scoring the opener.

Photo by James Gill – Danehouse/Getty Images

N’Golo Kante’s introduction at half-time changed the motion of the tide, all in Chelsea’s favour.

Marcos Alonso was a constant threat, whilst Antonio Rudiger had a typically rock-like performance.

Compliments for Kova

Yet, Crooks fell upon Kovacic to make up the other slot allotted to the Blues.

“This lad has been outstanding all season for Chelsea,” said the former Tottenham forward.

“Quietly getting on with things and allowing the stars of the show to take the glory.

Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

“However, make no mistake, Mateo Kovacic is at the heart of Chelsea’s success these days.”

If someone were to summarise Kovacic’s campaign so far, Crooks has probably come up with the perfect conclusion.

Never one to steal the headlines or take centre-stage, the Croatian simply gets on with the task at hand, no fuss required.

He rolls out the red carpet for his celebrity teammates to stroll down and capture the paparazzi’s cameras.

Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

An ever-reliable presence in the midfield, Kovacic is now one of Tuchel’s most important sergeants.

It seems only now some section of the Chelsea fanbase – and pundits alike – are starting to truly appreciate the 27-year-old’s quality.

With Kante and Jorginho entering into their 30s, the former Real Madrid man could be the heartbeat of Stamford Bridge for at least another half-decade.

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"Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produced regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League. Nathaniel is a full-time writer for the Chelsea Chronicle, and was formerly their social media man. His footballing career reached the sparkling heights of winning the Under-13s Bloxham Tournament in 2011."