Graham Potter keen to reward crucial Chelsea figure to offset concerns regarding critical squad area

Mateo Kovacic, Reece James, Chelsea, September 2022

Chelsea are reportedly keen to reward a crucial member of Graham Potter’s squad with a new deal, with contracts in the midfield ticking down.

Mateo Kovacic has been an important player for Chelsea since he joined from Real Madrid in 2019. Indeed, he has made 196 appearances since then – the most of any club he has played for.

He has been a consistent performer during his time at Stamford Bridge, starting in the midfield for most of his Blues career.

During Chelsea’s triumphant Champions League campaign in 2020/21, he missed only three games, each through injury.

Indeed, Kovacic is a mainstay in the side when fit. That has been the case despite playing under multiple different managers throughout his time in England.

The Croatian has remained an important member of the squad since Potter took charge. Kovacic has featured in every game since the former Brighton boss took the job.

That is even despite the fact that his minutes are being managed, due to a recent knee injury. A few injuries have hit Chelsea’s midfield so far this campaign.

N’Golo Kante has spent much of the season on the sidelines. That has meant the experience of Kovacic has been all the more important.

Blues keen to reward Kovacic

Given Kovacic’s importance to Potter’s side, Chelsea are keen to reward him, according to a report from the Evening Standard.

That report states that the Blues have a desire to start talks over a new contract with Kovacic. Those talks will reportedly take place after the World Cup, where Kovacic is likely to head with Croatia.

Indeed, the midfielder is only under contract at Stamford Bridge until the end of next season.

Kovacic is reportedly open to discussing new terms. He has clearly settled in England, having been here for over three years, and the report details how he got married and had his first child here.

Kovacic contract important amid uncertainty

There is some uncertainty over the contracts of both Kante and Jorginho. Indeed, both of the midfielders have contracts that are up at the end of this season.

Indeed, there is some concern that neither will renew, instead opting to head elsewhere.

Should that happen, the Blues will be losing out on a good chunk of their midfield. Not only that, but they would lose a great deal of experience from the side, too.

With that being said, it is all the more important that Kovacic pens fresh terms.

Chelsea will not want to have to change their entire midfield in the space of a couple of seasons. Indeed, they would likely much rather have Kovacic stick around.

They know his levels of talent and experience, for a start. Furthermore, they would not have to wait for a new midfield to gel together.