Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovačić believes Blues boss Frank Lampard is similar to Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane as a coach.
The Croatian has pinpointed Lampard’s coaching approach as the reason why he is thriving at Stamford Bridge this season, and adds his style is reminiscent of former coach Zizou.
Kovačić played under the Frenchman during his time in the Spanish capital and revealed that both him and Lampard adopt methods that complement his style of play.
“Zidane was similar to the way Frank Lampard is as a coach, and their approaches really suit me,” he told FourFourTwo, via the Sun.
Although Chelsea’s Croat star enjoyed his time at the Bernabéu, his omission from the 2018 Champions League final victory over Liverpool was the point of no return for the midfielder.
“It was nice to play under Zidane, but I thought he could have given me a deserved opportunity in the third Champions League final,” he said.
“That was the main reason for my dissatisfaction, but that’s football and we parted with no bad feelings.”
The 25-year-old was first brought to the club on loan from Real Madrid by Maurizio Sarri but once the Italian departed, Lampard came to the helm and Kovačić signed on permanent terms in the summer.
“I came to Chelsea under Sarri, but I must say that Lampard is an exceptional manager,” he said. “
“He commits himself with everything he’s got. Training is always challenging and different from last season.”
Kovačić has been one of Chelsea’s standout performers this season and his influence in the team continues to grow, illustrated by his three Premier League assists.
Often a deep-lying central midfielder, Kovačić has been given more of a licence to roam this campaign, with the ex-Madrid star is relishing the chance to express himself.
“I have to admit that I’m really enjoying it so far. I play with the ball a lot more and have greater freedom of movement – that’s why.
“I think I’ve put in some great performances this season.
It appears that Lampard has really hit a chord with his Croatian midfielder and that can only be good for Chelsea’s aim of achieving qualification for next season’s Champions League.
The Blues currently sit fourth, with a four-point cushion over Tottenham and Lampard will be looking to Kovačic as a key player in ensuring the Blues qualify for Europe’s elite competition.