Micah Richards has said that he sees shades of Manchester City legend Yaya Toure in Mateo Kovacic.
Speaking on The Rest Is Football podcast, the well-liked pundit gave his two cents on the 29-year-old’s arrival at the Etihad Stadium.
Micah Richards likened Mateo Kovacic to Yaya Toure, which is as major a compliment as a midfielder can really get.
Micah Richards compares Manchester City technician Mateo Kovacic to Yaya Toure
Branded as an ‘exceptional player’ by Pep Guardiola himself, the former Chelsea ace is already looking like he is set to become a blockbuster hit in sky blue.
The Croatian international instantly looked the part in pre-season, both as a left-sided No.8 and in defensive midfield and against Arsenal in the Community Shield, he was arguably the best player on the pitch.
While Micah Richards does not believe Mateo Kovacic is a like-for-like replacement for Ilkay Gundogan, he does see similarities in his game to Yaya Toure.
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“I think losing Gundogan is massive but bringing in Kovacic is a masterstroke. He’s a different player in terms of when he’s dribbling. Gundogan would open up a game in terms of pass, pass, forward run, whereas Kovacic can beat three players with his skill and the way he drives past midfielders. I don’t think City have had that for a while, even going back to like Yaya. I think Kovacic is massive.”
Mateo Kovacic will only get better and better at the Etihad Stadium
Whether Mateo Kovacic is similar to Yaya Toure in any way, shape or form is arguable but what does not seem like a debate is Micah Richards backing him to succeed at Manchester City.
The three-time Champions League winner is one of the most technically gifted players in the world, with the ability to drive with the ball at will and control the tempo of a game from deep, which makes him the archetypal Pep Guardiola central midfielder.
Working under the best manager in the world and at one of the greatest teams of all time, he is only bound to hit new levels over time.