Kovacic finds his place at Real

When Real Madrid signed Mateo Kovacic from Inter Milan in 2015 the propaganda machine at the Bernabéu tried to sell us a footballer that the Croatia international is not. That is a large part of the reason that his early appearances for the club were viewed as disappointing. He is not Luka Modric but he has very useful qualities for a midfield that is not overstocked with personnel who can run all day and who are predisposed to carry out the work that goes unseen. After a debut season at Real Madrid is which the move appeared to be too much for Kovacic he is now proving to be a good solution.

Physically, Kovacic is in excellent shape and without being a virtuoso he has progressed sufficiently as a player to be viewed in a different light to the stumbling version of his first few months at the Bernabéu. Furthermore, he possesses an essential virtue in a dressing room brimming with ego: Kovacic assumes the role of a back-up player with a healthy disposition, he does not shirk in the day-to-day work and whenever Zinedine Zidane has called upon he has always gone about his business on to the pitch in the frame of mind that every game is his last opportunity. Kovacic is not a Gálactico, but he isn’t required to be in order to perform a very profitable role for his manager.