Chelsea fans have highlighted a major Mateo Kovacic problem for manager Thomas Tuchel after the Croatian showed once again on international duty just how good he is.
Kovacic, 27, played the full 90 minutes on Wednesday night in Croatia’s 0-0 draw with Russia in the World Cup qualifiers.
During the game, the former Real Madrid man demonstrated why Marina Granovskaia and the Chelsea board had little choice but to activate the £40million release clause back in 2019.
A clip doing the rounds on Reddit shows Chelsea’s number 8 pick up the ball from inside his own half and drive up the pitch to help his country start another attack on the Russian goal.
His endeavour to get his team on the front foot was then followed up by an excellent through ball that nearly resulted in the deadlock being broken in the Luzhniki stadium.
It has led to some Chelsea fans commenting on Kovacic following the arrival of Spanish international Saul Niguez joining the Blues on loan from Atletico Madrid, with a battle now to impress club manager Thomas Tuchel, who will be keeping a close eye on proceedings during the international break.
With four top-class midfield options in his squad, manager Tuchel will now have a tough choice to make in terms of who will be the two that start the majority of the bigger games this season.
Here’s how a selection of Blues fans reacted on Reddit to the conundrum that the German boss will have to sort out ahead of the Aston Villa Premier League clash.
@crustylatern has made a worrying prediction: ‘I bet Kova leaves after this year. He’s way too good to not be starting.’
@ab-ai said: ‘If only he scored more goals, he has like 2 goals in 150 games for Chelsea.’
@Jbrown02116 questioned: ‘Why doesn’t kovacic start more? Is it just the unfortunate situation of having Kante and Jorginho? Whenever he plays he seems as if he is press proof and is so good at getting out of tight situations. I know his end product isn’t great but he offers so much still.’
@eric_3196 said: ‘Just world-class tekkers nothing new. I remember when he first joined I used to get him and hazard mixed up until I’d see the number on the shirt.’
Managers like Tuchel are paid big money to deal with good dilemmas that occur as a result of having quality depth in certain areas of a team.
Kovacic has started two Premier League games so far this season and featured from the bench in the most recent encounter against Liverpool.
He will be hoping that his impressive display during the international break may well be enough to convince Tuchel that he should be one of the midfielders starting against Dean Smith’s Aston Villa side on September 11.