Mateo Kovacic was hailed by ITV pundit today during the Community Shield between Manchester City and Arsenal.

The Croatia international was City’s first signing of the summer, joining from Chelsea for a fee of £30 million all-in.

Kovacic has so far impressed in City colours.

During the pre-season tour of Asia, the 29-year-old really caught the eye against the likes of Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid.

Many thought that Kovacic would be a great fit for City given how technical he is.

And that has been the case so far.

And today, Kovacic was rewarded by Pep Guardiola with a start against Arsenal in the Community Shield.

And it didn’t take long for the star to draw praise.

Mateo Kovacic hailed during Community Shield against Arsenal

City today took on Arsenal in the season curtain-raiser, the Community Shield.

Manchester United v Liverpool FC - Premier League
Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

Kovacic started as a holding midfield alongside Rodri, but had license to break forwards.

And after just 12 minutes, Kovacic came in for some high praise from pundit Lee Dixon.

The former Arsenal defender said of the star during ITV’s coverage: “Sometimes when players come into the side they need a little bit of time to settle down.

“But he’s just got absolute quality. He’s fit into this team brilliantly well.”

Later in the game, after a surge forward by Kovacic, Dixon added: “He’s a player isn’t he. Bargain.”

Kovacic was substituted off just after the hour mark, with Kevin De Bruyne coming on. City then found the breakthrough, Cole Palmer scoring a superb goal into the top corner.

Kovacic shining already for Man City

City fans should be really encouraged by Kovacic’s start at City.

The star has slotted into the midfield with ease – and he will only get better the longer he spends working with Pep.

He obviously has very big shoes to fill with Ilkay Gundogan.

Manchester City v Arsenal - The FA Community Shield
Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

But the early signs are very good indeed.

The German was a clutch player so many times for City. If Kovacic can replace Gundogan in that sense, then he will be an unbelievable signing.

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