Paul Merson has claimed the fact Chelsea star Mateo Kovacic is not a “shoo-in” to start shows the amazing squad depth at Stamford Bridge.

Kovacic, who’s a former Blues Player of the Season winner, is an extremely talented central midfielder that’s very popular with supporters. However, the 27-year-old is involved in some fierce competition within the Chelsea squad to start. 

N’Golo Kante and Jorginho, along with summer signing Saul Niguez, are his rivals looking to start in the two midfield positions.

Blues manager Thomas Tuchel has the heavy fixture schedule to rotate, but you’d have to say Kante and Jorginho are the two frontrunners right now.

£40million ace Kovacic has enjoyed an excellent start to the 2021/22 campaign, though, and appears to be recapturing his very best form.

Merson is amazed by Chelsea’s options that Kovacic isn’t a nailed-on starter.

“I thought Kovacic came on and kept the ball brilliantly to keep his side in the game [against Liverpool]. The fact that he’s not a shoo-in at Chelsea speaks volumes about their squad depth,” Merson told Sportskeeda.

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Mateo Kovacic raising his game

Kovacic definitely brings a different dimension to Chelsea’s midfield when he’s on form as he’s a great ball carrier that is so intelligent in possession. 


It definitely seems like the Croatian is stepping up his levels, something needed to nail down a position in Tuchel’s XI.

The arrival of Saul is only going to raise the standards even further and it’s brilliant for Chelsea that they’ve got four top-class central midfielders available to them.

The Kante-Jorginho pivot has worked wonders in the past. But, it would be superb to see the kind of flair that a Kovacic-Saul combination could bring.

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