Mateo Kovacic is benefiting from the freedom given to him by Chelsea boss Frank Lampard and proving he is a “top player”, according to former England midfielder Jermaine Jenas.
The 25-year-old Croatian international midfielder starred as Chelsea romped to a 4-2 win away against Burnley on Saturday, although two late goals by the hosts meant the victory margin did not reflect the level of dominance displayed by the hosts.
Ex-Tottenham man Jenas said on Match Of The Day that Kovacic and fellow midfielder Jorginho “completely ran the show”.
“They dictated the pace, when to attack and when to slow the game down,” Jenas added.
“They were both in the hundreds in terms of passes made and touches and they both had 90% passing accuracy. They had a huge impact on the game.
“The both of them looked like the real mature heads in the team.”
Kovacic joined the Blues on loan from Real Madrid last season when former boss Maurizio Sarri was in charge, but the midfielder was often deemed central to a ponderous playing style that came in for plenty of criticism.
Jenas said supporters were now seeing the best of the 25-year-old, who completed his move to Stamford Bridge in the summer.
“Kovacic is a top player,” Jenas continued reflecting on an impressive performance that laid the platform for a seventh successive win in all competitions. “Under Sarri he didn’t always show that. Maybe Frank has given him more freedom.”