New Chelsea signing Mateo Kovacic has admitted he sought advice from Luka Modric, who played for Tottenham Hotspur as a midfielder, regarding the England top-flight as well as life in London.
The Blues have officially completed a deadline day move for the 24-year-old Kovacic, who will spend the next season on loan at Stamford Bridge following a long-mooted departure from La Liga giants Real Madrid. Interestingly, the reigning European champions did not include a buyout clause in the deal, despite the Croatian having expressed his desire to make a permanent move away from the club.
Still, he will be calling London his home for the upcoming campaign at least, and he did not have to look far for any pointers regarding life in England. Upon moving to the Bernabeu three years ago, he has struck a friendship with club teammate and fellow Croatian international Modric. The Golden Ball winner spent four years with another London club, Tottenham, and Kovacic revealed the good things that his fellow midfielder said regarding the English capital.
“I speak to Luka always. He is, of course, happy for me. He is sad that I am leaving because we are very close there but he told me that London is an amazing city,” said the new Chelsea signing. “He said the Premier League will be tough in the beginning but he said it is a nice League, the stadiums are always full and I will enjoy it. I haven’t trained a lot at Real Madrid because I badly wanted to come to Chelsea so I didn’t do much training. I will give my best to be ready.”
The Austrian-born player becomes Chelsea’s second signing in the midfield department following the arrival of Jorginho with new head coach Maurizio Sarri earlier last month from Serie A club Napoli. Kovacic, who had a two-year stint in Italy with Inter Milan, has also said he is looking forward to sharing the pitch with his fellow new signing. “I am excited to play with him (Jorginho) and I think we will enjoy ourselves together on the pitch,” he added. “But there is a coach who needs to decide. I need to do my best to prove myself.”
Quizzed on whether he thinks it will be more difficult to win trophies with the Blues than Los Blancos, he said: “For sure, but this team has won a lot in the last years. I am joining a team that is winning all the time.”
Kovacic had long been on the periphery of the Madrid starting lineup ever since he arrived at the Spanish outfit in 2015. Having just made 21 starts in all competitions last season, he is determined to make the most of his one-year stay at Chelsea and prove his worth to the Los Merengues hierarchy.