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Chelsea Sign Kovačić To Permanent Deal, Largest In Croatian History

June 27, 2019


Mateo Kovačić



Chelsea made the move permanent this week and have signed their Croatian midfielder, Mateo Kovačić, to a deal that will keep him at Stamford Bridge for the foreseeable future, The Telegraph reports. Kovačić spent last season on loan at Chelsea from Real Madrid but can now officially put his former Spanish employer in the rearview mirror.



The deal is for £40 million which makes it the largest transfer fee for a Croatian footballer in history. Kovačić beats his own record in 2015 when Real Madrid paid Inter Milan 31 million euros for him.

Luka Modrić’s 30 million euro move from Tottenham to Real Madrid is the third largest transfer in Croatian history.



While on loan at Chelsea last season, the 25 year-old Kovačić had glimpses of greatness but an overall average season. He played better in the Europa League than the Premiership and has yet to score a Premier League goal. With Eden Hazard now gone and Kovačić fully knowing that Chelsea is his home, maybe the 2019/2020 season will spark a resurgence in his football career.



After all, when Luka Modrić retires from the Croatian national football team, it has always been expected that Kovačić would replace him.



Ante Kvartuč
Posted By: Ante Kvartuč 56 comments

  1. Maminjo says:

    Well hopefully this will be a turning point in his career.

    Hopefully Lampard forces him to play harder.

  2. CroatiaU14 says:

    Gotta spend this summer learning how to shoot under pressure from outside the box. He already has his passing and ball control down. Add some offensive spark and we’ve got a beast.

  3. Andrej L says:

    @ Maminjo
    I am disappointed to see you bash Kova. I feel like your a voice of reason here. Unless I’m taking things out of context.

    I think there was too much expectation put on him from an early age and it has been quite difficult to meet those expectations. I feel like his gets lost in the attacking third and over dribbles at times. But nobody can deny his exceptional touch. Plus ever since Lukaku stiff armed him years ago, his defensive contribution has improved overall. Like Ante said, everyone always expected him to be Modric’s successor. Quite the pressure to be a Ballon’dor winner but if he gets close, we should be happy.

  4. Slavonac from Canada says:

    Kovacic doesn’t play like Modric at all, they have a total different skill set and style. Neither of them are really lethal in the final third of the field (although Modric has been better the last few years) but Modric is far better at creating plays, linking into the attack and he rarely loses the ball. Kova has to learn how to be more effective in that final 3rd but to be honest, I’m not holding my breath. He is a very good link between defense and attack but if he wants to get to the next level, he has to be far better at completing his plays in the opposing end of the field.

  5. Slavonac from Canada says:

    I’m not sure this is why they bought him but I do think they have a ban on buying. I think they could buy him because he was already there on loan and since they’re gonna have to go for a period without being allowed to purchase players…and they lost Hazard, he’s a solid role player that they’re probably hoping they can help develop a bit more offensively.

  6. Dannyj says:

    I’ve always been hopeful for him to Pan out but unless he really gets that offensive touch like others said…he will just be decent for us. I worry when he loses his speed like when he does the runs… still he is only 25 and has ton of experience

    Crazy how a guy barely In our rotation is our highest transfer
    I know it’s just cause of the timing but still just seems strange

    I will continue to be as hopeful as ever for him tho

  7. Suba says:

    I am very surprised I thought they would kick him to the kerb

    Well he’s escaped a bullet there and now he needs to step up otherwise he will be a Prosinecki type who was considered to be a flop during his time at real

    Kova needs to find a stronger competitive nature and become an enforcer box to box

    Time will tell

  8. Tomas says:

    Let’s see what he does away for Sarri ball. Super Frank will instill aggresiveness in him. I think we will get better.

  9. Maminjo says:


    I was partly joking, but I am disappointed in Kovačić so far.

    He is talented enough to be our best player, but he is either too lazy or too Beta to take that next step.

    He is solid defensively, and great if you want to dominate possession. He seems perfect for Tika Taka, where the team spreads out and just dribbles and passes sideways all game until they eventually score.

    But we don’t play Tika Taka, and we found success using our physical size (in addition to our elite technical ability) to win games (and we shouldn’t move away from that).

    Kovačić seems completely uninterested in changing the way he plays, and that is what bothers me.

    When in the opponent’s third, he passes it off to Perišić on the wing, then stops running… Almost like it’s not his job to follow through and run toward the opposing box to give Perišić another option. He just seems too comfortable with the status quo play (midfielder passes to winger, then winger makes a run and crosses it to forward).

    Offensively, I think Kovačić’s finishing is awful… But so is Ante Rebić’s finishing (but that doesn’t stop Rebić from attacking). Kovačić, has the size and technical ability to make runs into the opposing box, make a crafty dribble, resulting in a chance (or even draw fouls).

    I hope Chelsea get Lampard as coach and he challenges Kovačić to step up offensively in the absence of Hazard. This transfer ban could be a very good thing for Kova.

  10. Tomas says:

    @ Maminjo

    No way Super Frank will tolerate this. Mateo will be given a chance and he will be expected to be aggressive. That’s the Lampard way.

  11. Dannyj says:

    I guess when hazard left they needed to fill some space
    Obvs Kovacic isn’t hazard
    But we have all seen is talent when younger
    Even had some decent goals
    To me he doesn’t seem physically to weak for a footballer
    Maybe it is a beta attitude

    Like whoever said Rebic lacks the scoring but he never stops attacking

    Reminds me of olic. Some ragged on him for not finishing always but the dude was relentless
    He created more chances then he wasted

    Ya if Kovacic creates those runs passes off and push through maybe more would happen
    Refresh my memory has he ever really played behind our strikers?

  12. kromiza says:

    Not a great finisher , but when he makes a great fast penetrating run, and pulls attention to himself , it usually leaves someone wide open, and then that is when, he makes the most impact. No penalty kicks , not his forte.

  13. Dannyj says:

    Pretty cool
    Croats owning Milan
    Will be good rivalry and good for the boys me thinks

    Boban will push for them to play

    We need some of the daddy is coach and push our guys
    Not like they can’t play….

  14. Anonymous says:

    Chelsea is the pride of London, great working class
    Fan base and feared hooligans. CFC! Just class.

  15. BZ says:

    Let’s be clear before this myth becomes CroatianSports fact:

    Rebic is a solid finisher. Period.

  16. Maminjo says:


    I’m sorry. I love Rebić, but he is not a good finisher.

    He missed at least two sure-fire goals per game at the World Cup. He created a ton of chances, so he’s off the hook for these misses… But when he’s in the box and needs to react quickly, he almost always screws up.

    Here are some examples…

    Against Nigeria (watch at the 1:00 min mark)

    Against England (watch at the 1:05 min mark)

    Against Denmark… We all saw him try to walk the ball into the net after he pulled that nice move on Schmeichel. It was an empty net, and for whatever reason… he hesitated, and then got fouled. 99% of the time, that’s a goal. Then Modrić missed the penalty.

    There are many more misses (I just don’t feel like going through the video), and of course he gets credit for that one good finish against Argentina (which we all know could have easily gone flying over, lol).

    He creates most of the chances that he squanders, and creates for others as well. He’s a huge net positive.. But definitely a subpar finisher.

  17. Maminjo says:


    I responded with some classic Rebić examples… But it looks like it was blocked due to me pasting a couple YouTube links.

    Ante, free that comment up if you can.

  18. Gospodin Gurovic says:

    Chelsea are desperate for anyone to become a star now that Eden Hazard is at Real Madrid.

  19. Dannyj says:

    Someone said they only signed him and payed that much cause of transfer bans and he was available to them as per the rules

    How much will Rakitic sell for??

  20. Dannyj says:

    As per Rebic He has had some great goals and I for one never gave up on him
    But that mess up at Denmark
    If we lost that game we would never stop talking bout that

  21. crnkovic says:

    kovacic made 3 goals for chelsea in the uefa cup final. the biggest game of the season. three key passes for 3 goals. not bad offense if you ask me

  22. Razbijač says:

    @ Crnkovic

    Exactly, what mess up?

    @ Dannyj

    I’d have to agree with the consensus that they only signed him because of the transfer ban.

    But I think given where the market is at, £40 million seems about right given his skill and potential upside.

    Rakitic would go for more, at least £45 million.

  23. BZ says:

    You know, the mess up where he was the fastest guy on the pitch after 88 minutes. Ran to a great spot and handled a great pass smoothly…and made a great move only to be taken down for a pk, which should have been a straight red. That mess up!

  24. Soul Champ says:

    Kovačić is a #8.

    He has grown defensively.

    Offensively I have seen too much quality to write him off.

    He needs to take this preseason seriously if he wants to enjoy his football.

    Lampard was great goal scoring #8 and may show Mateo how to be more direct.

    AC Milan with Boban is a revelation.

    I hope all 4 of our boys transfer in:

    Moro and Brekalo are the goods.

    Lovren needs regular PT.

    Kramaric not my favorite but can bang in goals.

    Boban is smart to take all the best Croatians to bring back AC Milan to prominence.

  25. Poglavnik says:

    I bet Modric thought why didn’t you just shoot that fucking ball, Ante.
    As a fan that match took days to recover from. Way more than any other. The anxiety from that shootout and our history of choking in big winnable games was insane for me.
    Who knows how draining that match was for the players.
    Maybe we’ve got the legs to mount a 2nd half comeback against France if Rebic didn’t “mess up”

  26. CroatiaU14 says:

    Rebić panicked in front of goal. As a striker it happens. Just happened to him at the worst of times, especially because Modrić missed the penalty. I remember the stress of that shootout. More stressful than the Russia one I feel.

  27. Suba says:

    If it was not for me it would have been another early exit haha

    And if we didnt win it I wonder if Modric would have won the ballondor I think not

    Funny how things pan out

  28. Dannyj says:

    Ok not a mess up
    But let’s say this maybe a more seasoned finisher would Have shot that earlier
    Again I’m a Rebic guy but I’m just saying we lose that game we would forever talk about it
    Ziva would say something like Rebic needs to go to Rakitic school of heading lol

    For sure those long games took out a lot out of them
    I agree the Denmark game was severe stress geez

    Worse then the final cause at the final I was like at least we here now All them haters got to watch the checkers

  29. Gospodin Gurovic says:

    What you guys talking about Rebic for Scheimcel came of his line and that Modric penalty should have been retaken we would have won in Extra Time.

  30. Razbijač says:

    @ Dannyj

    Carefully watch the movement on that play…Rebic cuts to his outside, pushing the ball past the keeper.

    As he’s catching up to the ball to shoot, he get’s taken down in a very dirty play (kinda like what Suarez did to Ghana).

    I don’t think he coulda shot earlier on that play..

    Also hoping for Olmo to win MoM for Spain today. Rumors circulating that Milan are willing to pay €40 million for the kid.

    That’s an insane amount of money for Dinamo. And that’s a whole lotta funds to invest in Dinamo’s youth development pipeline!

  31. The Spaniard says:

    Haha Croats. Four million Croatian and one Spanish youth comes into your country and becomes the best youth player. The Spanish are built for sport in the way the Croats are not. Soccer, basketball, tennis dominance. Whatever we try

  32. Anon says:

    If Spain are so great why did he choose Croatia…. which only has a fraction of Spain’s population …

  33. Anonymous says:

    Hahaha and Spain cunts need offside
    Goal and blatant foul on Corluka to
    Win euro against us. Croatia had no
    Fear of Spain.

  34. JohnnyV says:

    Hey Spaniard you moron!! One Spanish kid comes to our country and becomes a good player cos he goes to a club that has the best youth academy in Europe. Why the fuck couldn’t so called great Spain develop him. Needs only a country of 4 million to develop him. And by the way we cash in on him as well so go and fuck yourself!!!

  35. The Spaniard says:

    You stupid Croats are missing the point. Spanish players are better because they are Spanish. Spanish players growing up in Spain are better than Croats. A Spaniard goes to Croatia and trains and he’s better than Croats. The common denominator making them better than Croats is they are Spanish. Same for basketball and tennis

  36. Maminjo says:

    …and yet Sevilla’s resurgence back to relevance was because of their Croatian captain, Ivan Rakitic who turned that team around once he transferred there.

    Also, let’s not forget that Real Madrid was a laughing stock until the Luka Modric years.

    It’s pretty sad that you guys don’t have midfielders on par with those two, and you have to import them all from South America and….Croatia.


  37. Christmas says:

    Ok The Spaniard! I’ll bite. lol

    Aren’t we the World Champions in Tennis right at this moment?

    Aren’t we the Silver World Champions in Soccer right at this moment?

    Aren’t we also the World League Champions in Waterloo right at this moment.

    Aren’t we perennial TOP 5 in Handball in the World. 4th in 2017 and 6th in 2019.

    In all 4 of the above sports we are ahead of the much higher populated and richer country of Spain.

    Please note our tallest athletes ( we have a small population ) go into Handball, Waterpolo and Tennis.

  38. The Spaniard says:

    Your name Christmas is stupid too. Religious Croatians. What s joke. We gave that up a long time ago in Spain. Your tennis wins mean nothing. The best players don’t play in that tournament. Your world cup was lucky. If Russia didn’t cheat Spain, you would have gone home. But no point in even arguing soccer. Spain has won world cups and euro championships. Croatia never will. Basketball not even close

  39. Tomas says:

    @ hey amigo

    Croatia can beat Spain, you fear us remember. Croatia beat
    a PED super team and you lost to them.

  40. Jarac says:

    Spain will get demolished by croatian in most sports. You genes are inferior and your people are small and weak for the most part. A country of 4 million produce dominant genes and it shows across all sports. Track and field, basketball, handball, soccer, football, tennis, water polo, mma, boxing…….u name it and we will hammer spaniards. Jadan si cigo…

  41. The Catalonian says:

    “Spain has won world cups and euro championships.”

    Spain and Catalonia have won A world cup and euro championships, get it right piss ant.

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