Juan and Hernanes tip Kovacic to become one of the greats

The Croatia midfielder’s burgeoning talent is beginning to capture the eyes of the continent and his team-mates have nothing but praise for his abilities

Inter defender Juan Jesus believes team-mate Mateo Kovacic is capable of developing into one of the finest players in the world.

Croatia international Kovacic scored his first goals for Inter last week, registering a hat-trick in a trouncing of Stjarnan that ensured the Serie A club cruised into the group stages of Europa League.

The 20-year-old started only 14 league games for Walter Mazzarri’s men last term after struggling for form and fitness but appears likely to play a more prominent role this season.

Having witnessed Kovacic’s progression, Juan has tipped the youngster to achieve greatness in the game.

Speaking at Monza, the venue for this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix, the Brazilian said: “Kovacic will be one of the world’s best in a few years.

“I have great confidence in him and hope he has a great career.”

Kovacic also earned praise from Hernanes, who added: “I enjoy playing alongside Mateo but I’m sure we can do even better.

“He is a really talented player. He’s got lots of tricks and he reads the game so well.”

Kovacic, who joined Inter in January 2013, was linked with a move to Barcelona in the final days of the transfer window.

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