Former Real Madrid player Mateo Kovacic has joined Chelsea on a permanent basis having impressed on loan last season.
Chelsea face a transfer ban which may not be lifted until late August and are in need of reinforcements at the club. Having already registered Kovacic as a player last year he can still continue to play for the club and will not be affected by the ban. With Loftus-Cheek injured and a lot of workload falling on Kante and Jorginho, Kovacic adds valuable support to the midfield.
He failed to score in the first season and was wayward with many of his shots. However he has excellent dribbling qualities and his defensive work as well as workrate makes him an asset. He can play anywhere in midfield and enforces a strong physical presence as well.
The fee is expected to be somewhere around £40M which seems quite high but given the circumstances, Chelsea have no option. The 25-year old has signed a 5-year contract.
He said: “I really enjoyed my season on loan with Chelsea, I feel comfortable at the club and like London and the Premier League very much. I am very happy to be able to join permanently.”
“We had a successful year, winning the Europa League and I hope I can make a big contribution in the coming seasons.”
Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia said: “Mateo proved what an accomplished player he is during his season on loan with us and we are delighted to welcome him to the club on a permanent basis.”
“He already possesses extensive experience at club and international level and we are sure he will be a big success with Chelsea over the next five years.”
Kovacic started 36 of his 51 appearances last season and played a pivotal role in Sarri’s 4-3-3 formation. He still has a lot to prove and he really needs goals to come his way to win the fans’ trust.
Probably Lampard could bring it out of him.