'He loves football': Tuchel says £40m Chelsea player gets angry when he tells him to do less in training

Thomas Tuchel has shared that Chelsea’s Mateo Kovacic gets angry in training sessions when instructed to do less work.

Kovacic, 27, is a very popular player with Blues supporters at Stamford Bridge.

The £40million central midfielder is enjoying an excellent individual season, which has included two goals and five assists in the Premier League so far.

He’s an all-action midfielder that has the ball glued to his feet at times with some of his eye-catching dribbling. Also, he works his socks off out of possession and has a big presence in the centre of the park.

Chelsea boss Tuchel has spoken very highly about what the Croatia international is like on the training pitches. Intriguingly, he’s revealed he sometimes has to hold him back from overworking.

“He loves training. He loves football truly from his heart. You can ring him 3 at night and he’ll be here 3:30 fully ready to do anything. He’s here with a smile,” Tuchel said.

“He’s always angry when you tell him he needs to do a bit less because he played the day before or he needs to play the day after. He is hungry for football and happy when he’s sweating, working hard. Pure please to be his coach… top player.”

Incidentally, Chelsea prospect Lewis Hall has recently said Kovacic and Jorginho are the two standout players he’s trained with at Cobham.

Photo by Robin Jones/Getty Images

Chelsea favourite Kovacic a manager’s dream

Yes, Kovacic needs to score more goals from midfield. He pretty much ticks every single box outside of that, though.

It’s great to hear about his attitude on the training field, as that’s exactly the kind of character that makes him a fan favourite.

Tuchel’s in the fortunate position where he can rely on three top-class central midfielders, including Kovacic.

The Chelsea boss often rotates between the trio of Kovacic, Jorginho and N’Golo Kante by using any combination of them in a midfield pairing.

Kovacic’s flexibility to play in different midfield roles is crucial, too. He impressed playing in a number eight role within Chelsea’s 4-1-4-1 system they tried out recently.

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A sports journalist who graduated from Staffordshire University in 2016 and is a Chelsea supporter. Loves anything football or cricket related when it comes to England.