Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic believes he is working with the perfect manager in Frank Lampard to add the qualities to his game that he is currently missing.
The most notable of those is the art of goal-scoring, with the Croatia international hardly renowned for his prowess in the final third of the field. The 26-year-old failed to find the target during a season-long loan at Stamford Bridge in 2018-19, but still did enough to earn a permanent move from Real Madrid .
He is now off the mark for the Blues, with two efforts recorded this term, but has only troubled the scorers on 21 occasions in his 367 club appearances to date.
Kovacic can argue that he is not selected to provide that kind of threat, with his value found in ball-winning and ball-playing departments. He is, however, eager to make himself a more rounded performer and feels that Lampard – who scored 211 goals for Chelsea – could be the man to unlock further potential.
Kovacic said in an Instagram Live discussion, on seeing the new boss arrive in the summer of 2019 and what it could mean for him: "We had a quite good year under Maurizio Sarri, winning the Europa League, in the end he left and Frank Lampard came to the team.
“I think from the first moment our feeling was good. I liked the way he was training us, really hard training, I liked his character, how he was speaking to the team.
“I think I can learn a lot from him because all the things I am missing from my game - scoring goals and being more direct, this is the thing Lampard was amazing at in his career. So he's a great manager, a great person and I think I can learn a lot from him during my time here.”
Lampard is considered to have improved many of those currently at his disposal, with the likes of Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount and Antonio Rudiger thriving under his guidance.
Kovacic has also earned plenty of plaudits, having been given a slightly different role this term, with all of those at Stamford Bridge now waiting on the green light to be given for Premier League action to resume following the coronavirus pandemic.