Chelsea would certainly have been hard-pressed to find a midfielder more reliable than N’Golo Kante since his 2016 arrival from Leicester City.
After all, the Frenchman has been pivotal to a Premier League title success with the Blues, whilst having won the Champions League, FA Cup, UEFA Super Cup and many personal accolades.
Nevertheless, the midfielder’s contributions have been limited this term having already missed five matches in all competitions through a combination of injury.
It remains to be seen whether he will be fit to return for chelsea clash with Brentford after the international break, leaving a problem of who to partner alongside Jorginho in the heart of the Blues’ midfield.
Fortunately,Tuchel appears to have stumbled upon the solution ahead of the latest international break.
One of the more under-appreciated midfielders in the Premier League, the Croatian has quietly impressed since his initial arrival on loan from Real Madrid in 2018.
His ability to marshal both boxes, whilst staying composed on the ball are his main strengths and he has dovetailed excellently with Jorginho over recent seasons.
Kovacic is the metronome in the heart of the Chelsea midfield, with only Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen having completed more passes than the Croatian’s 56.9 per game in the Premier League this season.
He has also developed a creative knack throughout 2021/22 having scored once and provided three assists, already more goal involvements than he managed throughout the whole of last season.
Only just over a month ago,Ruben loftus cheek seemed likely to depart Chelsea having been sent out on loan last season with Fulham.
His opportunities looked limited due to severe competition in the Blues’ midfield but he appears to have forced his way into Thomas Tuchel’s thinking.
He could certainly be a surprise option to partner Jorginho in the absence of Kante.