Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri was reminded that he made a mistake of having signed Mateo Kovacic in the summer transfer window.
Kovacic joined the Blues from Real Madrid on a season-long loan to help Italian’s midfield options.
But Arsenal legend Martin Keown believes Sarri would not have signed the Croatian midfielder if he had known how good Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Ross Barkley are.
Kovacic has immediately established at Stamford Bridge, but the 24-year-old is now facing hard competition from Loftus-Cheek, Barkley and Cesc Fabregas.
Barkley has scored three times in last three Premier League games while Loftus-Cheek scored a hat-trick in the Europa League last week.
Therefore, former Arsenal defender Keown insists the Italian manager made a mistake to sign Croatia international midfielder Kovacic.
“I honestly believe that had Maurizio Sarri known just how good Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek were, Chelsea would not have taken Mateo Kovacic on loan,” Keown said on the Daily Mail.
“It’s nice problem for Sarri to have. You cannot drop N’Golo Kante so there are three players fighting for one midfield berth.
“If Chelsea had to make a choice between Kovacic and Loftus-Cheek, I would rather send Kovacic back to Real Madrid than send Loftus-Creek out on loan.”
“Barkley is one of the best players [England] have produced in terms of technical ability,” the three times Premier League winner added.
“I will never forget the first time I saw him play. He was on loan at Sheffield Wednesday and I spent the whole match trying to work out if he was right or left-footed.”
“He took one corner with his right, then later in the game took one from the other side of the pitch with his left.”
“But talent can only get you so far. Now, the penny has dropped for him. He knows how to get the best from that talent. He knows where he needs to be on the pitch to maximise his ability.”
“Maurizio Sarri is getting the best from him by playing him in an advanced midfield role. It suits all of his qualities and gets him into the final third often so he can work his magic.”