Chelsea signing Mateo Kovacic reveals the one thing he wants to learn from Frank Lampard
Chelsea have hired Lampard as Maurizio Sarri’s successor, but the club’s record-goalscorer has his work cut out at Stamford Bridge.
The former Derby boss has to cope with a transfer ban and the departure of Eden Hazard as he begins his role in west London.
Kovacic, who was on loan at the Blues last term, was able to join permanently due to him already being registered as a Chelsea player.
And the Croatian is eager to work with Lampard because he spent his career excelling in an area where he struggles – scoring goals.
“I’m looking forward to working with him a lot,” the £40m signing told the club’s website.
“He was an amazing player and he showed last season that he is a good coach as well.
“I’m looking forward to learning how to score from him because he scored quite a lot and me not so much last season!
“I’m maybe not exactly the same type of midfielder as he was but he had some strong abilities, especially scoring goals.
“He was a hard worker so I’m looking forward to being better in this aspect, in working hard, fighting on the pitch and scoring goals.”
Kovacic didn’t manage to hit the back of the net at all during his loan spell last term.
The 25-year-old’s last goal came in January 2017 for Real Madrid against Real Sociedad in La Liga.
Despite his dry spell in front of goal Kovacic believes he contributed effectively to Chelsea’s only campaign under Sarri which ended with Europa League success and a top-four finish.
Now under new leadership, Kovacic admits he has never experienced such a difficult pre-season as Lampard prepares his squad for the UEFA Super Cup against Liverpool and his Premier League bow at Old Trafford.
“It was my first year so it was very difficult but I think I did well,” he continued.
“It could have been even better but we won a trophy, which is always important, and we finished third.
“I’m looking forward to working hard – I’m enjoying it but already it’s been very tough. I’ve never had such a hard start!
“The coach has said how important it will be to work hard and prepare for a long and tough season.”