Chelsea were without Mateo Kovacic since late October after the midfielder got injured due to a hamstring strain. He misses eight matches after getting injured against Norwich City and featured against Wolves in the gameweek 18. Chelsea and a lot of other English Premier League clubs were hit with the COVID-19 pandemic once again, and this left them with a few options in the midfield. Kovacic was forced to make an early comeback into the team.
The Blues collected 22 points in the first nine games. After Kovacic’s injury, they only collected 15 points in the next eight games. Chelsea scored 22 goals in the opening nine fixtures, and after Kovacic’s injury, the numbers went down to 16 goals in eight games. Kovacic has opened his goal-scoring account after scoring a goal against Aston Villa. He also provided five assists, and two assists came in the match against Norwich City.
When looking at the above chart, the general rule is that the longer the bar, the better the performance – you can see the league average in the middle, and the % is the percentile rank the player is in. Mateo Kovacic is only behind four players in the assists chart. The player is ranked high for attempting passes, providing assist, forward passes and smart passes. He is one of the highly-rated midfielders in the Premier League.
Since Kovacic’s injury, the players featuring in the midfield two haven’t provided an assist in the English Premier League. Jorginho has scored four penalties, and Ngolo Kante also has a goal to his name. Chelsea players have failed to create chances from the midfield since his absence.
The above viz shows the pass map of Mateo Kovacic in the first nine games. He averages more than 60 passes per 90 with an accuracy rate of 91.1%. Kovacic has attempted 11 smart passes and averages 1.32 smart passes per 90. The Croatian player has landed his 23 passes inside the opposition’s penalty box, and the highest threats are created from passes towards Marcos Alonso. Kovacic has attempted 70 passes towards centre-back Antonio Rudiger and 51 passes towards Jorginho. The player has provided an assist to Romelu Lukaku, Trevoh Chalobah, N’Golo Kante, Ben Chilwell, and Callum Hudson-Odoi.
The stats show that Kovacic creates a lot of threats while going forward for the team. The player has made six-goal contributions and is the joint-highest assist provider for the London club. Thomas Tuchel has a lot of injury concerns in the midfield and is short of midfield options. Ross Barkley and Saul have failed to impress the manager and haven’t featured a lot in the league. Mateo Kovacic’s return against Wolves was a good sign for the team. The manager would expect more from the player in the upcoming matches.