Mateo Kovacic was officially presented as a Chelsea player on Thursday morning after completing his move to Stamford Bridge on a season-long loan deal from Real Madrid.
The Croatia international, 24, was included in the transfer of Thibaut Courtois to the Bernabéu in a move that suits all parties after starting just 10 Liga games under Zinedine Zidane in 2017-18.
“I am very happy and enthusiastic to be here at Chelsea,” Kovacic told the club’s in-house media. “It’s a great feeling. I will try to give the best of me for this club. It’s a new league for me, the start is always difficult, but I’m sure my coach and my teammates will help me to have a great season.”
Kovacic in search of continuity at Stamford Bridge
Kovacic was signed by Real Madrid from Inter for a fee of 30 million euros in 2015 and although he played fairly regularly under Rafa Benítez, he was rarely used by Zinedine Zidane for the remainder of the 2015-16 season and gradually saw his opportunities evaporate as the Frenchman settled on a midfield three of Luka Modric, Casemiro and Toni Kroos. In total, Kovacic made 109 appearances for Madrid but half of them from the bench.
Chelsea director general Marina Granovskaia welcomed Kovacic to Stamford Bridge: “We are very happy to welcome Mateo into the Chelsea family. He is a perfect fit for us this season. His style of play fits into how Maurizio [Sarri] wants the team to play and we sure that he will prove to be a valuable asset for the club.”