Mateo Kovacic Joins Manchester City: Prospects, Style of Play And Chances

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Manchester City poached Mateo Kovacic from domestic rivals, Chelsea, as their first signing of this summer transfer window.

Fabrizio Romano confirmed on Wednesday the Croatian roving midfielder has joined Manchester City as the Premier League champions have finally reached an agreement with Chelsea worth £35m for the player including add-ons.

Since he joined Chelsea in 2018, Mateo has developed into one of the most experienced and highly-sought after midfielders in the Premier League.

The signing of the Croatian midfield sensation coincided with the exit of German international and veteran playmaker IIkay Gundogan.

There have been speculations Pep Guardiola is signing Mateo Kovacic to stand in for Gundogan, who has joined Barcelona on a two-year contract after a contract faceoff with Manchester City.

Mateo Kovacic

Far from projections that Guardiola wants to replace IIkay Gundogan with Mateo Kovacic, the Croatian has been on the radar of Guardiola since he became Manchester City manager.

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Daily Mail reports Guardiola has been a secret admirer and fan of Kovacic due to his style of play, ball-carrying cadence, and playmaking abilities. Nevertheless, Mateo Kovacic’s chances in a star-studded City side cannot be overestimated.

There are some expected changes to Pep Guardiola’s midfield structure next season with Kovacic in the lineup. There are projections out-of-favor youngster, Phil Foden may likely play a greater role as a central midfielder next season with Gundogan out and Bernardo set to leave.

Mateo Kovacic style of play and Manchester City chances

Mateo Kovacic is a baller. He plays mainly as an attacking midfielder with his penetrative passing, good ball-carrying skills. He has a good work rate and great speed.

Mateo Kovacic

Kovacic is a left-footer and can comfortably play more as an attacking midfielder from the wings. He can also be deployed in double pivot midfield structure.

In his last days at Chelsea, Kovacic struggled with his game as the team failed under different hands with different styles. At Manchester City, Kovacic is more likely to fit in and return to his game.

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Pep Guardiola plays an attacking 3-2-4-1 formation. The pivot of his game is the roving midfielders, known for their athleticism, good work rate, dribbling and playmaking roles – a role that could be perfectly delivered with class by Kovacic.

With Bernardo Silva and IIkay Gundogan on the exit from Etihad, Kovacic will easily be integrated into the squad.

Would Chelsea miss Mateo Kovacic?

Kovacic has spent five years of his career at Chelsea, making a total of 142 appearances for the club, with four goals.

He first joined Chelsea on a loan spell from Real Madrid in 2018 before his loan move was made permanent due to an impressive first season.

This season, he has made 27 Premier League appearances for the club mostly coming from the bench. Despite a low Premier League goal tally (4) for the club, Kovacic’s experience will be missed at Chelsea.

In the just concluded season, Kovacic has captained Chelsea to Premier League win over Leicester City, Champion League win over Borussia Dortmund, and FA Cup win over Chesterfield.

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