'What he’s doing': Steven Gerrard admits he 'loves' Chelsea player and also rates his £40m teammate

Steven Gerrard has sung the praises of two current Chelsea players.

During an interview with Rio Ferdinand, the Aston Villa manager was asked to name his favourite modern midfielders.

Coming from one of the supreme players of his generation, Gerrard’s choices simply cannot be taken lightly.

From the Stamford Bridge batch, he has plenty of quality to pick from.

Steven Gerrard says it all

N’Golo Kante is often named the toughest opponent by many footballers, past or present.

Photo by Visionhaus//Getty Images

Jorginho divides opinion, but remains right amongst the most technically minded maestros in the profession.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek has received rave reviews from Ferdinand himself, yet there is still a sense he can push on even more.

None of these luxury names made it onto Gerrard’s list, however.  

“Love Jude Bellingham, absolutely loving him,” said the Villa boss.

“Kevin De Bruyne, without a shadow of a doubt. I’m going for attacking players.

“Love Mason Mount what he’s doing. (Mateo) Kovacic at Chelsea. I love Fabinho at Liverpool and I love Rodri.”

Mason Mount

Mason Mount and Mateo Kovacic; not a bad pairing in the slightest.

Mount is very much admired within the sport, even if the England international has his doubters outside of it.

Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images

Every coach the 23-year-old has worked under fully appreciates the commitment, energy and intelligence he offers.

His goal and assists have increased season-upon-season, with 27 in total this term.

He netted in four successive Premier League matches in December, but has only converted three more times since then.

This is the barrier Mount must break to one day sit at the table with the greats such as Gerrard: score and influence proceedings regularly.

Mateo Kovacic

Kovacic could probably take this lesson on board as well, although the Croat’s game is a lot different from his teammate’s.

Photo by Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images

The £40m (BBC) arrival from Real Madrid plays more centrally, instructed to dictate and disrupt, rather than score and assist.

But even that aspect of his repertoire is improving, adding to the already-elegant performer that glides past tackles like a hot knife through butter.

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Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces 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.