Mateo Kovacic was the only player that Chelsea could sign in the summer, having already been on loan at the club so they didn’t need to register him.
The move has worked wonders with the transfer ban and Kovacic has been an excellent addition to the squad under Frank Lampard.
You can even argue that for a large chunk of the season he has been one of Chelsea’s best performing players, which is why it’s odd to see him mainly sitting the bench in the last few matches.
But the Croatian international has nothing but praise for his manager, who he likens to his former coach Zinedine Zidane.
Hopefully Lampard gets Kovacic in as a more regular starter again soon, as he mentions that Zidane not giving him an opportunity in the Champions League as one of the reasons he was unhappy there.
As reported by AS, Kovacic has been speaking about the two managers.
“Zidane was similar to the way Frank Lampard is as a coach, and their approaches really suit me.
“It was nice to play under Zidane, but I thought he could have given me a deserved opportunity in the third Champions League final.
“That was the main reason for my dissatisfaction, but that’s football and we parted with no bad feelings.
“I came to Chelsea under Sarri, but I must say that Lampard is an exceptional manager. He has kept the character he had as a player in his personality as a coach, which has inspired all of us.
“He commits himself with everything he’s got. Training is always challenging and different from last season.
“That’s probably the main difference between Lampard and Sarri, who made the concept of training quite monotonous. There were a lot of similar training sessions with a focus on tactical preparation.”