Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic has reportedly returned to training ahead of Premier League clash against Aston Villa on Saturday.
The 25-year-old was missing in Chelsea’s convincing 4-0 victory over Everton on Sunday, after picking up an Achilles injury during the FA Cup match against Liverpool last week.
Since Jorginho was serving his suspension, Chelsea manager Frank Lampard had to field the three midfielders he had left; Billy Gilmour, Mason Mount and Ross Barkley at Everton game, with Reece James who is a right back to cover as a back-up on the bench.
According to Football London, Kovacic has returned to training for the away trip to Villa Park. It is not guaranteed that the Croat will be fully fit to start, but the report suggests he could at least make the bench.
Jorginho will still serve his two-game suspension in the Premier League, while N’Golo Kante is still struggling with his sustained injury.
Kovacic offers a different dimension
Although the midfield three of Gilmour, Mount and Barkley put on an empathic display against Carlo Ancelotti’s men, Aston Villa could pose an entirely different threat to Chelsea.
Villa will likely defend deep with numbers, deploying low block defence which has caused problems for Chelsea throughout this season.
Kovacic who has stepped up his dribble numbers since the departure of Eden Hazard could be useful in splitting Villa’s defence on Sunday and offers a different playstyle in midfield compared to the more explosive Mount and Barkley.