Real Madrid vs. Chelsea: Ranking the 5 best players on the Blues

Real Madrid, Karim Benzema (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Karim Benzema (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /
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Mateo Kovacic, Chelsea
Mateo Kovacic, Chelsea (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images) /

1) Mateo Kovacic

Didn’t expect this, did ya?

Mateo Kovacic is the most underrated midfielder in the Premier League. It’s just a fact. He’s definitely one of the best ones, and no one talks about him that way, which is really, really unfortunate, but that’s just how it is sometimes.

Take nothing away from his quality, though. Kovacic is one of my favorite players of all time, and I was really disheartened when I saw him leave the club because I genuinely thought he’d be Real Madrid’s future midfield star, but as has been the case with so many different young players, the timelines just didn’t match. Real Madrid had their greatest midfield of all time when Kovacic was leaving, and coincidentally, Real Madrid could’ve used him the season in which he left. A bit unfortunate, that.

Now, talking about him at Chelsea, I am going to say something controversial. A hot take, if you will: that Kovacic has been Chelsea’s best midfielder (in some games, at least top two) since 2020. He’s been better than Jorginho, and even though his highs don’t reach Kante’s, he has been far, far more consistent than the Frenchman during this timespan.

Kovacic is one of the most complete midfielders in the world, and if he’s able to somehow add goalscoring to his toolbox, then he would just surpass most if not all midfielders, in case he hasn’t already.

Maybe I am letting my bias get the better of myself here, or maybe Kovacic genuinely is that good. He helps Chelsea a ton offensively, which wasn’t the case in seasons prior. injuries to Chelsea’s wingbacks have forced Kovacic to be more aggressive going forward, and he has a big role to play in Lukaku’s 12 goals.

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Defensively, Kovacic is so, so good. He works hard, tracks back, helps Chelsea run through the opposition’s press and just gives his all every single time he’s on the pitch. Like I said, just, an all-round beast that would 100% give Real Madrid’s midfield a lot of problems. I just hope Modric has the fitness to deal with all that when the time comes.