Kovacic set for positional switch

The Croatian has impressed in a deep-lying midfield role since arriving at San Siro in January but could now take up an attacking role

Walter Mazzarri is set to convert Mateo Kovacic into an offensive midfielder ahead of Inter’s trip to Catania on Sunday.

The Croatian prodigy arrived at San Siro in January and immediately impressed with some composed performances in front of the back four under Andrea Stramaccioni.

However, Mazzarri, who took over from Stramaccioni this summer after leaving Napoli, is keen to tap into Kovacic’s attacking potential and believes the 19-year-old’s best position could well be in a more advanced role.

I think he [Kovacic] can really make the difference in the final third,” the coach told reporters before the match.  

“I’m trying to give him some advice: he’s very young and he needs time to develop. I think he’s the sort of player I’d like to see operating a bit further up the field.

Where do I see him playing? He’s a versatile player who can play in three positions. In the future I think he could play his best football in the hole or out wide in a front three.”

The Nerazzurri are looking to build on their opening day victory over Genoa when they take on Catania and Mazzarri says he is hoping for a complete performance from his side.

We have to make sure we shut it all out and concentrate on playing our own game. We’ll be up against a skilful side that plays good football,” he said.

But we want to put in a top performance, showing conviction and determination.” 

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