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Mateo Kovacic admits transfer regret as he opens up on life under Pep Guardiola

Mateo Kovacic admits transfer regret as he opens up on life under Pep Guardiola

Mateo Kovacic expressed a desire to have joined Pep Guardiola’s highly successful Manchester City team at an earlier stage in his career.

The midfielder, who transferred from Chelsea for £25 million during the summer, has had previous stints at Dinamo Zagreb, Inter Milan, and Real Madrid, amassing over 500 appearances in his career.

Despite his experience, the 29-year-old feels like he’s embarking on a new chapter, learning fresh approaches under Guardiola.

Kovacic disclosed that his only regret is not having joined forces with Guardiola sooner, allowing him more time to benefit from the coaching expertise of the widely acclaimed best coach in the world.

‌”It’s amazing and tough because I’m learning a lot of new things and I would have loved to come at an earlier age to learn,” said Kovacic.

“But it’s never too late to learn. I think like that. So I’m happy I can learn from him and what he tells you.

“I would’ve loved someone to have told me a few years ago. But yeah, now I can still learn and you can really tell he is fantastic. I’ve really enjoyed it from the first moment.

It was tough the first few days to understand what he wants – ‘don’t move there, go there’.

“So I like to run a lot on the pitch sometimes – ‘go there, go there’. But he told me, ‘Be more calm, don’t run too much’. So it was like a little bit of surprise for me as well and it’s nice.

The club you can tell from the first day is amazing. The people are great, and the city is also nice.”

In the summer, Mateo Kovacic was joined at City by his Croatia team-mate Josko Gvardiol, who was signed from RB Leipzig for £77.6 million.

Gvardiol’s versatility, being able to play at both centre-back and left-back, has proven to be a valuable addition to City. Kovacic is optimistic about the 21-year-old’s future, expressing confidence that Gvardiol will have a remarkable career.

Kovacic commented, “I have in mind one guy that is really good and that can be Josko, who is still young. I think he can really dominate in European football. He can take, especially in Croatia, centre-backs to another level, because we always were talented playing from the back, but he has something special.”

“How he comes into the middle, so I think he can be for Croatian people, the guy. Especially being a left footed, I think they’re always so special – left footed players.”

Croatia is aiming to secure qualification for Euro 2024 and is currently positioned in third place in Group D.

To automatically qualify for the tournament, they must finish ahead of Wales, who are in second place. Croatia’s last two qualifying matches are scheduled against Latvia on Saturday and Armenia on Tuesday. The outcome of these matches will determine their qualification status for Euro 2024.

Mateo Kovacic admits transfer regret as he opens up on life under Pep Guardiola

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