With Steven Gerrard officially leaving Liverpool FC, the Reds from Merseyside now have a big void to fill due to the departing captain. Out goes one of the greatest midfielders the club has ever seen and suddenly there are strong rumours of a player coming in to who will try to replace him. Mateo Kovacic of Inter Milan has ‘reportedly’ agreed terms with Liverpool. Great! The only problem is, fee discussions with Inter Milan haven’t begun yet.
We decided to take a look at what the Croatian would actually bring into the Liverpool team if the transfer does go ahead. Mateo Kovacic is capable of playing either as a CM or CAM with the latter being his favoured position and the area in which he has looked best at when playing in Italy. He doesn’t score a bulk load of goals every season, his highest scoring season includes 9 goals, nowhere near good enough to replace the outgoing Anfield captain.
Let’s not judge him on that though, Kovacic is blessed when the ball is at his feet and his ability to zoom past defenders making a run from deep is very reminiscent of the younger Steven Gerrard. Not just that he is also capable of splitting defenses with relative ease and that will make him an instant delight for the likes of Sturridge, Origi and Ings. Liverpool already have Coutinho, playing in a similar position, but Kovacic offers a more robust and speedy outlet than the young Brazilian. A decent option to have in your team for games in which the Brazilian finds it difficult to make an impact.
Kovacic is 21 years old and has his best years ahead of him. Coutinho came in at a bargain price and the 20 million price tag on Kovacic may sound steep for the youngster but it could be a bargain deal for the Reds. The Croatian completed 87% of his passes last season which is higher than that of Jordan Henderson. Santi Cazorla and Yaya Toure had a pass completion percentage of 89% per game. Kovacic recorded his highest assists in a season with 10 last year. He also creates 1.77 chances per game which is good enough to be a decent PL player.
He averages 2.47 successful take ons per game and out shines even the powerful Yaya Toure. However, he does not press the ball with a lot of energy but that is something he will learn to do under the guidance of Brendan Rodgers.
Mateo Kovacic is currently among one of the most coveted youngsters around Europe and is a regular starter for Inter Milan in the Italian Serie A. Will he be able to survive in the Premier League is a whole other matter but he is someone with a bright future ahead of him and would see Liverpool as the ideal place to develop his career. The lure of playing in one of the best leagues in the world and at an iconic club such as Liverpool should be too difficult to resist for the Croatian!
C’mon, bring in Mateo Kovacic . . . . PLEASE!!!