Manchester City’s Croatian midfielder Mateo Kovacic and his return to form after injury cannot be understated. Kovacic has been in outstanding form of late and again put in a superb performance during City’s 5-nil win over Huddersfield Town at the Etihad yesterday.
Manchester City did miss Kovacic and what he brings to the world champions when he’s been unavailable due to injury. The Croatian midfielder has missed 6 games this season due to minor injury issues (as per transfermarkt.com). While the injuries haven’t been serious they did rob Kovacic of the momentum he had built after a promising start at his new club.
The performances of Kovacic started to lift at the FIFA Club World Cup. He played a key role in Pep Guardiola’s squads victory in Saudi Arabia as he returned to his best form. He also scored his first goal for the club during their 3-nil semi-final win over Urawa Red Diamonds. That form has carried over into the champion’s last three domestic games. While others get the plaudits the work Kovacic does has been vital in City’s return to form.
Against Huddersfield Town in City’s FA Cup third-round win the Croatian midfielder was again superb. He calmly went about his work and the nature of his performance may have gone under the radar but that didn’t make it any less important. With Rodri on the bench, Kovacic took the reigns as a holding midfielder and showed he could step into the City midfield general’s shoes if required during the second half of the season.
After injury had halted his early season momentum Mateo Kovacic has returned to his best in recent weeks. While he’s gone under the radar the European champions have returned to their best with Kovacic providing a calming presence in midfield.