Friday, September 29, 2023

Chelsea Midfielder Is On The Radar Of Manchester City: Can Pochettino Afford To Lose Him?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent tweet, respected journalist Fabrizio Romano stated that Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic is on the radar of Manchester City. It has been stated that Man City are keen on recruiting the Croatia international from the Blues this summer.

Kovacic’s Struggles At Stamford Bridge This Season

Kovacic has endured a tough campaign at the West London club as he has struggled to be a consistent performer for them at the centre of the park. The 29-year-old has found the back of the net on two occasions and picked up two assists in 37 matches for Chelsea this season across various competitions.

The Croat sensation has struggled to perform at a high level based on his average of 1.3 tackles, 0.7 interceptions, 0.6 clearances, 0.9 shots, 0.9 key passes and 0.7 dribbles per 90 minutes in Premier League football. He has even been tidy with his ball distribution after completing 86% of his attempted passes in top-flight football (stats via whoscored).

His current contract with the Blues will run out in the summer of 2024. Thus, it won’t be easy for Chelsea to retain his services beyond this summer.

Mateo Kovacic
BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND – MAY 06: Mateo Kovacic of Chelsea arrives at the stadium prior to the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Chelsea FC at Vitality Stadium on May 06, 2023 in Bournemouth, England. (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images)

Can Chelsea Boss Mauricio Pochettino Afford To Lose Kovacic?

Kovacic is a solid tackler of the ball and can time his challenges well to earn the ball back for his side at the centre of the park. He is full of energy and running in midfield but has struggled to perform at his peak over the next ten months.

The 93-time Croatia international can strike the ball with venom and precision from long range. He is primarily a box-to-box midfielder but can also fill in as an attacking midfielder or as a defensive midfielder if asked to do so.

Kovacic remains an important squad player for the Blues. However, he is not good enough to secure a regular starting spot in Mauricio Pochettino’s squad next season. Plus, the Croat sensation is on an expiring contract at Stamford Bridge, so Chelsea would be wise to cash in on him rather than risk losing him as a free agent next year.

Pochettino has enough options in his Chelsea midfield department and can definitely afford to lose Kovacic for a cut-price fee during the summer transfer period.

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