Chelsea loanee Mateo Kovacic has admitted to watching videos of former Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes to help him improve his game and prepare for life in the English top flight.
Kovacic joined the Blues on a season-long loan from Real Madrid this summer and has already featured five times for the Premier League club.
Speaking to Sky Sports, the Croatian star said: “Every player has to be himself — but for me Scholes was one of the best ever.
“He was amazing. I still enjoy watching his videos on YouTube. Sometimes I go home and watch him to learn something new.
I love watching Mateo Kovacic move the ball forward. He’s like a machine perfectly engineered for the purpose.
— Michael Caley (@MC_of_A) September 23, 2018
“He had everything, he was the modern midfielder — scoring goals, defending well, tackling.
“I don’t copy anybody but I do like to watch Scholes. I also watch other players to see what I can do better. Players like Luka Modric and Andres Iniesta, too.”
Really glad to see that Kovacic is starting this afternoon. He was fantastic when he started last time out before he came off. Giroud starting is the better option, his link up with Hazard is unreal.
Great lineup overall.
— Mod (@CFCMod_) September 23, 2018
Kovacic did admit that at least in one area he was a long way behind his idol Scholes; goalscoring.
While goals aren’t the most important element of a player like Kovacic’s game, the Chelsea midfielder does still have a surprisingly poor record of finding the net.
Scholes netted 155 times in 718 appearances for United, while Kovacic has scored just three in 110 appearances in all competitions. That gives him a goals per game ratio of just 0.02, compared with the 0.16 of Scholes.
Kovacic said: “That is the problem in my career, I have not scored enough — and it’s something I need to improve on.”
Despite his lack of goals, the 24-year-old has still already had an illustrious career, having moved to Real Madrid in August 2015 where he has won the Champions League three times.
Kovacic was also part of the Croatia team that reached the World Cup final this summer, losing to France in the end.