The immense value of City’s Croatian midfielder was clear to see during City’s win over Wolves

The immense value of City’s Croatian midfielder Mateo Kovacic was clear to see during Manchester City’s 5-1 win over Wolves. While Erling Haaland and Rodri will get the headlines out of yesterday’s game, the role played by City’s Croatian midfielder was integral to the champions’ crucial win at the Etihad Stadium.

It isn’t a far-fetched conclusion to draw that Manchester City look at their best with Mateo Kovacic partnering Rodri in midfield. With the Croatian international alongside Rodri, it gives Pep Guardiola’s team a solid midfield base from which to work. Their combination also helps lighten the burden on City’s midfield general. At times, Rodri has fought the battle in City’s midfield on his own. While he has done a tremendous job this season on other occasions, he has looked tired. With Kovacic by his side, it immediately provides Rodri with the support he needs to thrive.

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There is also another bonus of Kovacic starting with Rodri. It also allows Rodri to drift forward with devastating results. Rodri picked up 2 assists yesterday as he could drift forward, knowing he had Kovacic behind him to provide cover. Wolves couldn’t contain Rodri as he drifted forward, and the inclusion of Mateo Kovacic in the starting lineup was a crucial factor in this.

But City’s Croatian midfielder wasn’t only Rodri’s security blanket yesterday. He put in a fine display from midfield as he helped the world champions dictate play for the majority of yesterday’s match. As per Sofascore, Kovacic completed 73/77 of his passes as he helped City dictate proceedings. He also supplied drive from midfield, which helped set the scene for City’s dominant victory.

With four games remaining in City’s season, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Kovacic start them all. The champions look a more complete team with the Croatian midfielder, and he could have a critical role to play in City’s chase for Premier League/FA Cup double this season.

Tags English Premier League Etihad Stadium FA Cup Manchester City Mateo Kovacic Pep Guardiola Rodri Wolverhampton Wanderers