Premier League 2018-19: Analyzing Mateo Kovacic's debut performance for Chelsea
Chelsea won their first London derby under new manager Maurizio Sarri. It was a thrilling first half in which both the teams scored two goals each. Chelsea won the game making it two consecutive wins.
Chelsea offloaded Thibaut Courtois to Real Madrid and accepted Kovacic on loan as a part of the deal. Chelsea manager Sarri didn't include Kovacic in the opening fixture of Premier League against Huddersfield Town and the Croat wasn't even in the starting lineup against Arsenal.
Kovacic's much-awaited debut for Chelsea came when he was substituted in for Ross Barkley in the 60th minute against Arsenal.
Kovacic is the player who can dribble past defenders and can threaten any defence on any given day. He suits Sarri's style of play which will help him nurture his skills and game to the next level. He did what he does best in his Chelsea debut.
Playing in 11 games in La Liga last season, he provided one assist and had pass success percentage of 93.7 which is remarkable. He had similar stats in the Champions League too.
Kovacic had a total of 54 touches in his debut. Out of attempted 43 passes, he completed all of them which means his pass accuracy was 100%. His completion rate of take-ons was also 100%.
Kovacic also performed well defensively completing three tackles and winning two fouls for Chelsea.
Despite playing for just 30 mins in his debut game for Chelsea, he provided a performance which is sufficient enough to gain a starting place in the remaining fixtures.
His introduction along with Eden Hazard turned the tide in Chelsea's favour as Arsenal slowly lost their pace after having rallied back from two goals down to level things at 2-2.
The video provides highlights of Kovacic's debut for Chelsea against Arsenal:
Kovacic was certainly in need of more playing time which he was not given at Real Madrid. He is just 24 years old and has at least 7-8 years left in his career. If given adequate playing time and attention, he can become among the best player for Chelsea this season.
Chelsea will certainly try to sign Kovacic permanently if he improves to his potential.