2018 World Cup finalist reveals how Chelsea boss Sarri pushed for his signing before deadline day

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Mateo Kovacic has revealed the influence Maurizio Sarri played in his decision to join Chelsea this summer.

Croatia midfielder Kovacic signed a season-long loan deal with the Blues earlier in the month, having struggled for game-time at Real Madrid.

The 24-year-old was left out of Chelsea’s opening game of the season against Huddersfield Town but played 30 minutes of the 3-2 victory over Arsenal on Saturday.

Discussing his decision to join Chelsea, Kovacic says it was important to feel wanted by Sarri and to play under a manager who adopts an attacking style of football.

He told Sport Klub: ‘First of all it was important that after three years of inconsistency in playing time in Madrid I’ve got into a team that wants me and a coach that wants and trust me.

‘That’s how Chelsea happened. That’s what I really need now, as I said earlier I’m feeling really good and I want to keep it that way.’

Asked about playing under Sarri, who replaced Antonio Conte at Stamford Bridge earlier in the summer, Kovacic added:

‘Well yeah, he knows me for a long time.

‘I’ve watched a lot of his games, he likes to play and that’s what matters in my opinion. The squad is phenomenal with many great players that’s why it wasn’t so hard to adapt quick.’

Chelsea made light work of their opening game of the season at Huddersfield Town, beating David Wagner’s side 3-0.

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