News Live Scores

Chelsea getting best of Kovacic after ‘difficult’ Real Madrid spell

17:40 GMT 16/11/2019
Mateo Kovacic Chelsea 2019-20
The Croatia international midfielder completed a permanent move to Stamford Bridge over the summer and is feeling settled and confident once more

Mateo Kovacic says Chelsea are getting him at his “best moment”, with consistency returned to his game after a “difficult” spell at Real Madrid.

The Croatia international midfielder spent three seasons at the Santiago Bernabeu before sealing a loan switch to Stamford Bridge.

He offered enough across 12 months in west London to earn a permanent transfer, with Frank Lampard happy to take up that option.

Kovacic has become a key man for the Blues and believes he is starting to show his true colours after finding a regular role in his preferred position.

The combative 25-year-old told Chelsea’s official website: “Of course it’s better to have consistency in your position. To move around the pitch is not so good, when you’re playing one year there, and another year there.

“That has also been a bit of a problem in my career. Everything happened too fast for me. I had three great and difficult years in Madrid. I played, didn’t play, I didn’t get the continuity that I needed and what I have now here. I enjoyed it, we won three Champions Leagues, but Chelsea is coming in the best moment of my career. It has been the most important switch for now and I’m really pleased with that.”

Kovacic added on the qualities he adds at Chelsea: “My game is to open spaces for other people.

“It’s a big strength and I have felt I am trying it a lot more because we play a little bit different football to last year. Now we are more direct, more aggressive, we just try things we didn’t try last year. I feel better.

“I think my best position is in a midfield two.

“I can play as well in a midfield three, but in the two I feel maybe more comfortable with more freedom. But in the end the formation doesn’t matter too much.”

While starring for the Blues at present, Kovacic is yet to open his goal account for the club.

He is not overly concerned by a lack of end product for the Blues, with his game more about being destructive than constructive.

Kovacic added: “I never had the pressure to score goals, I was never obsessed because my game is not about goals, but obviously if I want to go to the next step I need to improve it.

“The coach was the greatest goalscoring midfielder that ever played. There were many, but he really scored a lot of goals. He tells me always that I need to shoot. Now I am trying more!

“It’s just a thing of mentality, to try to score, to be aggressive and to have the hunger to score goals. I want to improve that, I’m trying to improve that and I am sure I will get there.”