17th August, 2018
All indices point at the likelihood of a debut for Mateo Kovacic at the Stamford Bridge for Chelsea when Arsenal come visiting in the first home match of the current season for the Blues on Saturday.
The new arrival from Real Madrid played no part in last last weekend’s 3-0 win at Huddersfield Town but will likely be fully unveiled on the pitch tomorrow as the fans get the opportunity to see how well he will fit into their team.
It is left to be seen however if Manager Maurizio Sarri will be starting the Croatian midfielder or have him come off the bench as the team will be missing two personnel in their midfield tomorrow.
Tiemoue Bakayoko has left on loan to AC Milan while Cesc Fabregas who also sat out the opening weekend game is expected to miss the Arsenal match with a knee injury.
Talking about Kovac, Maurizio Sarri had this to say:
“I think Mateo will be very useful for us. He’s a very technical player,”
“In this moment he has to work. I think he’s not ready now for 90 minutes, but maybe tomorrow for 30 minutes he could be used.
“I think he can play in any of the three positions in midfield. He’s a very good offensive player, but he has improved in the defensive phase in the last two years in Madrid.
“I expect a lot from him because, for me, he’s a very great player. In my opinion, he can improve more.”
The other player the manager spoke about is Alvaro Morata who appears set to keep his place despite a not too impressive display against Huddersfield last weekend.
Luckily for him, he seems to have the coach’s backing to find his form back as Sarri said:
“I am not worried about Morata. Morata is a very great player. I think that, in this moment, he needs only to gain confidence.”
“He needs to score as all the strikers in the world do. He needs to gain confidence, but he’s improving so I’m not really worried about him.”