This article forms part of our Profit Players feature series, which is where Football Transfer Tavern takes a look at how well a player has fared since being signed or sold, using statistical figures and statements from pundits to prove how good of a deal the club managed to achieve.
Mateo Kovacic endured a fairly average season with Chelsea last year despite helping the club win the Europa League. He scored no goals and assisted just two in 32 appearances in the Premier League (via WhoScored), potentially raising eyebrows over the club’s £40m (per BBC Sport) deal to make his move from Real Madrid permanent.
Former Liverpool man Steve Nicol was bemused over the move at the time, questioning just what the Croatia international brings to the Stamford Bridge giants (ESPN via Daily Star).
However, it seems the former player turned pundit may have jumped the gun in his assessment of the midfielder, who has proved crucial for Frank Lampard’s side.
Kovacic has this innate ability to carry the side from defence into attack with his dribbling ability, averaging the most dribbles per game this season (2.4). However, his effort isn’t without reward as the 25-year-old is the second-most fouled player at the west London club (1.7), showing the fruits of his labour (via WhoScored).
With the club sitting in third place in the English top-flight, nine points clear of sixth-placed Arsenal in the race for Champions League football for next season, he has proven that his quality exceeds his price tag.
It was revealed that missing out on the Champions League cost the Gunners £35m in Arsene Wenger’s last season at the club. Indeed, this suggests Kovacic’s contribution to helping Chelsea finish in the top four is helping in massively paying back the £40m spent on him last summer.
Chelsea fans, was Kovacic worth the £40m paid for him in the summer? Let us know your thoughts!Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!