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When you talk about essential players at Chelsea you will probably head toward the likes of N’Golo Kante, Jorginho, and cases for Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Tammy Abraham and Callum Hudson-Odoi.

But for some odd reason, Mateo Kovacic will often get overlooked. For me, Kovacic is just as essential to that Chelsea team now as Jorginho and Kante, and he cannot be dropped.

How do you get all three of them in as well as Loftus-Cheek and Mount? Well, that’s over to you Frank Lampard, But for me, Kovacic has to start.

It’s a fantastic problem to have, and it’s a real headache when being asked who starts as a regular, as some found out on my poll yesterday. It’s a horrible question, but one that will eventually need to be answered.

Loftus-Cheek is essential for his attacking contributions. Kante for his defensive, Jorginho for controlling possession – but Kovacic is equally as important for knitting all of that together from deep, being the one to dribble us out of a high press and connecting the defence to the attack.

No player in the Chelsea squad does this like Kovacic does, it’s not even close.

Chelsea often find themselves struggling to play out, and so often when it can’t be passed out, the ball will go to Kovacic and he will dribble or turn out past two or three players and all of a sudden turn a highly dangerous defensive situation into a Chelsea attack.

This is why he is essential to this team and must start more often than not. He has actually helped cover over the hole left by Kante being missing, and that’s saying something.

We are seven games unbeaten without Kante and Loftus-Cheek, that says it all to how well Kovacic has been playing.

Lampard has stated that he likes to mostly keep the same starting players when they are winning to keep up momentum. So with that said, right now, you cannot drop Kovacic.

 

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