Internazionale have sold the 21-year-old midfielder to Real Madrid for â¬32m despite his slow start at the San Siro and debate over his best position
It took Mateo Kovacic more than 20 months to score his first Serie A goal. Signed by Internazionale from Dinamo Zagreb in January 2013, he was immediately given the No10 shirt but did not find the net in a league game until the following September. The drought ended at home to Sassuolo, Kovacic running on to a Dani Osvaldo lay-off before skipping past a defender and beating the keeper.
Relief gave way to excitement at San Siro. This was a strike that epitomised the midfielderâs best qualities â the composure, the elegance, the touch. Kovacic later added an assist in what became a 7-0 rout of Sassuolo, and supporters began to wonder whether he was finally ready to come of age.