Is Mateo Kovacic becoming surplus to requirements at Chelsea?
Despite Mateo Kovacic’s obvious ability, his time at Chelsea is not going 100% to plan.
After arriving from Real Madrid on loan, hopes were high that he could make an impact from midfield.
Chelsea fans’ excitement only increased because of Real Madrid’s reluctance to let the Croatian leave permanently.
After all, he is Luka Modric’s successor in Madrid.
And while he hasn’t played badly, in a midfield comprised of Jorginho and N’Golo Kante, Kovacic is the main attacking threat.
Maurizio Sarri is looking for the Croatian to fill the ‘Marek Hamsik-role’ that proved so successful for him at Napoli.
But Kovacic’s impact going forward has been minimal – he’s not scored and has got only one assist this season.
On the other hand, when Ross Barkley’s played, he has really shone.
He’s already been on the scoresheet three times for the Blues, and has helped to alleviate some of the pressure on Olivier Giroud and Alvaro Morata.
Even Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s resurgence is putting pressure on Kovacic.
With no clause in his loan agreement to allow Kovacic to remain in London in the long term, Sarri may focus on his other options.
And as a result, Kovacic could very easily fall by the wayside.