Frank Lampard got his first win as Chelsea manager on the weekend with a 3-2 victory away at Norwich City. Two goals from Tammy Abraham and another goal for Mason Mount in the Premier League helped Chelsea end a three-game winless run.
Even though the two England youngsters will get all the plaudits, one Chelsea player should get a mention for his outstanding performance on Saturday. Matteo Kovacic was a standout performer in Lampard’s side with his tackling, passing range, constantly covering the ground and assisted in Abraham’s second goal which proved to be the winning goal.
He was included in Chelsea’s starting line-up because of N’Golo Kante suffering an injury in training, but it seemed that the Kovacic inclusion made an effect.
Under Lampard, Kovacic is a reborn player following his mixed first season at Chelsea. Last season with Maurizio Sarri at the helm, Kovacic was used in a midfield three and wasn’t always a certain starter under the Italian manager.
The Croatian international initially joined the Blues on a one-year loan deal from Real Madrid last summer and then made that move permanent this year. After his performance against Norwich, it seems the 40 million spent on the 25-year-old is becoming to look like a steal.
Although he still isn’t regarded as the main starter in the double pivot that Frank Lampard likes to play, he will no doubt be a big player in this Chelsea squad for this season.
N’Golo Kante and Jorginho are seen as the two players who will continue to play in the double pivot. With Jorginho being the creator and Kante providing defensive stability, Kovacic can make an impact as he is excellent at both roles.
It is still possible that all three can start in the same team together as Lampard has changed his trusted 4-2-3-1 formation to a 4-3-3 which will allow Chelsea to have more depth in midfield.
Chelsea faces Sheffield United in their next Premier League encounter, and with Kante still injured, it looks like Kovacic will keep his place in the double pivot alongside Jorginho. If he plays as well as he did against Norwich City, Lampard will surely give a lot more starts to the Croatian in the forthcoming games.