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Chelsea’s Mateo Kovacic shows Stamford Bridge chiefs ideal transfer plan this summer

Chelsea may be staring at a Champions League exit after a 3-0 pasting at Stamford Bridge from Bayern Munich.

But one man can say that he truly gave his all in a sparkling performance, ultimately let down by his team-mates.

The Blues were shaky in the first half but grew into the match and looked okay at the beginning of the second.

However, Bayern’s quality showed when Serge Gnabry grabbed a quick fire brace to take the wind of the home side’s sails.

Robert Lewandowski’s late third has ultimately ended the tie and the second leg is now more damage limitation than second knockout stage hopes.

There were some hopeless displays from Chelsea, who looked a startling level down from the Bayern stars.

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But Kovacic can leave the pitch with his head held high after a fine performance in midfield.

The Croatia international was the only one in blue to have a Champions League medal and it was painfully obvious.

The ex- Real Madrid man had an 89 per cent pass completion rate, eight dribbles completed, 14 grounds duels won, five tackles and two key passes in a mammoth display.

Stats can paint a pretty picture on a dreary day but Kovacic passed the eye test with flying colours as well.

Chelsea star Mateo Kovacic was a successful signing

It is a far cry from the part-time role he assumed under Maurizio Sarri last season.

The 25-year-old was a regular joke at Stamford Bridge where he would swap with Ross Barkley almost religiously.

Under Frank Lampard , Kovacic has become a key player and has vastly improved.

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He was the only signing in the summer because of a loophole that allowed them to sign the midfielder for £40m from Real Madrid following his loan spell last campaign.

And it is a signal to the Chelsea chiefs that transfers like this are the way forward.

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