'His work ethic': Martin Keown says £40m Chelsea star doesn't get nearly enough credit

Martin Keown thinks Chelsea star Mateo Kovacic doesn’t get nearly enough credit for his work rate.

Kovacic, 27, is enjoying a brilliant individual campaign where he’s looking back to somewhere near his best.

The £40million midfielder did miss a six-week spell due to injuries and illness, but either side of that has been in imperious form.

It’s been a great boost to the Blues XI to have him contributing in attack, scoring two goals and setting up five assists in 21 appearances this season in all competitions.

However, supporters love him for his flair and dribbling on the ball.

Keown has been keen to point out that is energy and work ethic is a big part of his game, too. He’s suggesting that it’s something that often goes under the radar.

“N’Golo Kante is deservedly praised for his energy but I don’t think Mateo Kovacic gets nearly enough credit for his work ethic. Chelsea’s midfielders cover massive distances and they’ll find themselves outnumbered in midfield at times, given how City likes to flood that area with sky blue shirts,” Keown wrote.

Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Kovacic integral to Chelsea

In fairness, Kovacic often doesn’t get the limelight compared to his Chelsea midfield teammates Jorginho and Kante.

Blues manager Thomas Tuchel knows how effective he is to his side, though.

The Croatian central midfielder has the knack of starting attacks for his teams with a burst of energy to break the line, or producing a bit of skill to get supporters involved.

He’s the kind of player that is going to be crucial against today’s opponents Manchester City in the Premier League, so he must be included in the line-up by Tuchel.

Incidentally, Chelsea’s academy prospect Charlie Webster explained this week how much help he’s had from Kovacic after training with him in the first team.

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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.