FM 2012 player profile – Mateo Kovacic

FM 2012 Central Midfielders

written by Darren Smith

Mateo Kovacic

Age: 17

Position: AMC/CM

Club: Dinamo (CRO)

Nationality: Croatian

Value: £1.1 million

Price tag: £3.8 million (in patch 12.2)

Mateo Kovacic’s profile in 2011 (after starting new game, patch 12.2)

Mateo Kovacic’s scouting report from Cagigao of Arsenal

Mateo Kovacic’s profile aged 23 in the year 2018

Mateo Kovacic’s career history until 2018

Kovacic is probably one of the best wonderkids SI has thrown into Football Manager 2012. He obviously suits the AMC position best but could be adapted for a CM position with advanced playmaker role and attack duty. Either way this 17 year old has a one track mind and that doesn’t change as he develops. Just look at Kovacic aged 23 above, he is a passing maestro and owns the ball while its at his feet with amazing dribbling skills and unique creativity. This kid is a must buy at £3.8 million.

Best buy rating: 10/10

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  • comment avatar Ivan November 20, 2011

    Kovacic <3

    • comment avatar Darren Smith November 20, 2011

      He is probably one of the best advanced playmakers on the game in my opinion.

  • comment avatar Yo December 2, 2011

    i bought him for 880k first day of the game and he will come on 1 july 2012… you didn`t have to pay 5 million for him

    • comment avatar Darren Smith December 2, 2011

      I’ve tested most of my signings on numerous game saves some from day one others from a week in and every single time he isn’t available below £5 million. Guess you got lucky or maybe yours is the latest update maybe?

  • comment avatar Yo December 2, 2011

    it`s patch 12.02.2 like your, if you mean on that.

    • comment avatar Darren Smith December 2, 2011

      Thats interesting, like I said I have signed him during two saves and also tested buying him on the first day where my bids started at just below £1 million…great bargain you got then.

  • comment avatar Yo December 2, 2011

    maybe you have bad scouts :) … and is great that he will come for one year and be better than now… i`m from Crotia also like him, he is great player…

  • comment avatar Yo December 2, 2011


    • comment avatar Darren Smith December 2, 2011

      Nah I think you misunderstood. I personally made the offers myself and do for every single profile. Thats why they take so long, because I pride myself on making the details as accurate as possible.

      As for Kovacic’s ability, I have him with Malaga and he’s got more potential to grow than any player I’ve ever seen in the FM series, no joke. :)

  • comment avatar Martin K December 10, 2011

    “he’s got more potential to grow than any player I’ve ever seen in the FM series”

    Seriously?? I mean he is good but THAT good mate? Where do he works best, AMC og CM with offensive playmaker? I got him with Inter as sub for Sneijder.

    • comment avatar Darren Smith December 10, 2011

      Yeah I believe so, he’s now got 18 first touch, 20 passing, 19 technique etc etc in my Malaga save. Improved an incredible amount. I personally don’t know where he’d be best used but seemed to work well in an attacking role CM for me.

  • comment avatar Aj December 12, 2011

    I just got him for 3.4 million in july 2011

    just enquire first and they should offer him for 4 million

    then just knock them down :D

  • comment avatar Aj December 12, 2011

    lol the board just sold one of my players and
    i dident get the money how does that work!

    • comment avatar Darren Smith December 12, 2011

      If you are in debt or have poor finances the board set you ‘transfer revenue %’ very low, which means the money goes straight in the bank and you get whatever percentage they set for your budget.

  • comment avatar help me December 25, 2011

    I can’t find him when I’m searching. What should I do?

    • comment avatar Darren Smith December 25, 2011

      You need to have a medium database loaded whereas you must have loaded a small database upon starting a new game, the only way to correct that is by starting again.

  • comment avatar Dan January 2, 2012

    just bought for my newcastle team in july 2011 for 2.5mill. should turn out to be a bargain going to retrain into the centre mid position.
    what tactic would you reccomend darren for newcastle? i was goin to try your Arsenal tactic

    • comment avatar Darren Smith January 2, 2012

      You could try my Arsenal tactic but it may prove inconsistent because of the standard of players. I don’t really have one that suits teams like Newcastle this year.

      • comment avatar Dan January 2, 2012

        cheers for the reply

  • comment avatar Heresy January 12, 2012

    I’m having issues with Kovacic :( Guy can’t seem to adapt to the life in Paris.. Needed to buy Delac, or else he’d leave! Luckily, Delac wasn’t expensive.. The things you have to do……. but the kid is worth it! I’m tempted to let Sirigu join Chelsea and make Areola my 1st GK, with Delac as backup. Got so much potential at the front that I’m hoping they’d be enough.

    • comment avatar Darren Smith January 13, 2012

      All sounds good, Kovacic is great if settled and the two keepers are very talented too.

      • comment avatar Heresy January 13, 2012

        My advice: don’t bring this kid to your squad is he doesn’t speak the language or if you don’t have other Serbians or Croatians. Not his fault he can’t settle in, it’s the game’s promise system. If you promise him signing someone for company, better do it before the transfer window for the season ends. Otherwise you will not keep your promise. And there’s no option to ask players to help the guy adjust.

        Really annoyed cos I’m gonna have to let him go before he’s shown any kind of potential :(

  • comment avatar Heresy January 13, 2012

    Brought Delac into the sqaud after the promise deadline which would have been impossible to keep. Now he wants me to either bring another goalkeeper in or let him go. This is crazy, instead of being happy that Delac joined, he doesn’t seem to acknowledge it at all.

    • comment avatar Darren Smith January 13, 2012

      I had Kovacic in my second season in Spain and he had no issues what so ever…I’d suggest that you may have gotten unlucky. Though one thing I definitely agree with is the awful promise deadline thingy…it screwed me over a number of times. But may I suggest an alternative. The last time I faced these problems with a different player I kept playing him and waited it out, eventually he came around and all was OK. Kovacic is worth the wait.

      • comment avatar Heresy January 13, 2012

        I did exactly that. Nothing.. nothing… nothing.. BAM! 2 assists and a goal in a match. After Chantome injury, he’s my main midfielder and is doing really well. Still unable to speak a word of french but let’s hope that he won’t try to leave again.

        • comment avatar Darren Smith January 13, 2012

          While in real life the player usually leaves when upset or struggling to settle I think FM is more lenient and you can revive a relationship with the right approach and lots of patience. I have done that a lot and it seems if though you are doing the same so fingers crossed.

          • comment avatar Heresy January 16, 2012

            After a year still not a word in french but he has good matches and is confident. Became my first team midfielder this season, he’s 19 and his creativity matches that of Pastore, aged 24. He wasnts to stay now and that’s a good thing, unexpected win in Champions Cup last season and winning League 1 probably had something to do but he’s had 38 matches for me last season (not all starting XI tho), i played him whenever i could and pushed for a good result and he’s turning out to be a real gem. Was in club’s Best XI at the end of the season. And to think i bought him for 2,8M Euro! (i suppose the price might have been recuced in patch 12.0.4)

            I might have been unlucky with the adaptation thing but I’ve noticed even in the previous FM versions that players who know many languages already tend to have it more difficult in learning another). I suppose having Badelj or Vrisajko (sp?) with him from the beginning might really help him adapt and fit in and language barriers won’t be an issue.

          • comment avatar Darren Smith January 16, 2012

            Glad to hear he’s finally settling, I wouldn’t worry about the language thing if he’s playing well.

  • comment avatar Heresy February 20, 2012

    My 3rd season as the Fullham manager came to an end and Kovacic proved to be one of the key players who helped me win the Premiership. I usually play him as AMC but with my defence tactic, he sometimes plays in the middle as well. It doesn’t really matter. with 17 passing, 16 anticipation and 20 creativity, his passes cut through even the best of defences. And he is barely 20 years old.

    He has amazing synergy with Badelj whom I use as AP support or DLP support. They own the centre of the pitch together. He can be adapted fairly easily to the midfielder role. His possitioning will never be any good but his tackling improves steadily if he’s being coached on it.

    He has one weakness though – composure. He needs to injest bucketloads of it because while his passing is amazing, his shooting is dreadful :)

    • comment avatar Darren Smith February 20, 2012

      Yeah I used Kovacic and Badelj in the centre to deadly effect with Malaga, the two of them can dominate against most sides.

  • comment avatar darsnider March 23, 2012

    wow seems i should try out badelj im trying out vidal and pogba as cm BWM for vidal and DLP for pogba and him as AMC maybe right now im in second behind inter i need to

    • comment avatar Darren Smith March 23, 2012

      Badelj is a great all round midfielder.

    • comment avatar Chong June 16, 2012

      Was browsing through this topic…try cm support for pogba…his more of a drift around have a touch, do a through ball kind of player rather than a full on dlp(play badelj fr playmaker)

  • comment avatar darsnider March 29, 2012

    I love this kid, he is so good its scary in just 3 years he developed so well such good passing, creativity, technique my god, he just ties my team together i feel unsure in games if he isn’t on my field this guys is a must buy and deserves his rating his passing rips apart defenses and if he gets the ball to his feet he can score he scored so many tap in for me had like 20 goals my last season

  • comment avatar TommyTomster123 May 24, 2012

    Hey darren i just wanna know what stops Kova from being a 10/10 buy? He is extremely cheap and allready from the get go he is a very good player and he develops quickly into of of the best midfielders in the game, just wanna know :)

    • comment avatar Darren Smith May 24, 2012

      There was no real reason, to be honest I thought I’d given him 10/10…maybe at the time I thought he might take a little long to fit into a new side but that isn’t the case now so I’ve adjusted the rating.

  • comment avatar Ross June 7, 2012

    hey Darren just looking for some advice. I’m halfway trough my scond season with Benfica. at the start of the season i bought Kovacic and i also had Jose Campana join me for free from Sevilla. however due to my mistake i have too many young centre mids in my squad and have to get rid of one, i sold Campana but i thought he looked like he had a lot of potential, have you seen any good future screenshots of him?

    • comment avatar Darren Smith June 7, 2012

      I haven’t seen any good future profiles of him no so probably the right decision.

      • comment avatar Ross June 8, 2012

        yeah i feel i probably could have developed him into a top player but in a toss up between him and Kovacic i think there was only one winner. great site by the way. thanks for the reply.

  • comment avatar Joe June 7, 2012

    Better than Dzagoev?

    • comment avatar Darren Smith June 7, 2012

      I think he’s potentially better yes.

  • comment avatar Chong June 16, 2012

    Hey, I wrote you a couple times Darren commenting on different players…started a new save with inter and I thought I needed a midfield revolution to back sneijder up…So with poli, who i loved in 11, i bought verratti/badelj and made a deal with kovacic…

    Now I know that Kovacic is the best at attacking midfield, and in 3-4 years he will be sneijder’s replacement but until then…I can’t possibly rotate all 4 and give them each a fair share of matches at cm since i have douglas costa driving from midfield(poli can do this, and i think so can kovacic) so I am not too sure who to get rid off..

    I would like your opinion…currently all three are playing similarly, but I have seen that badelj is way more rounded than verratti…It might be a judgment call but, I still prefer verratti over badelj

    I usually play: Cambiasso(anchor
    Badelj/veratti/poli and d.costa(one of 2 left) Sneijder(attacking mid)

    And my target man is the midfield next to d.costa because sneijder doesn’t seem to perform when his main playmaker…

    Any advice for squad would be helpfull(aswell as suggestions on roles for some of those players, lavezzi is coming in aswell and I could play wingers…So far this one has worked well!

    • comment avatar Darren Smith June 16, 2012

      I’d say offload badelj if Varratti is showing real promise, but I prefer Badelj in FM 2012…it just depends on your style and favorite player though to be honest.

  • comment avatar Oleat June 20, 2012

    Eriksen, Muniain, Lamela ore Kovacic in 2014?

    • comment avatar Darren Smith June 20, 2012

      Sorry are you asking which one I’d sign…if so it depends on how well they developed in your game and what position you are signing them for. If its attacking midfield I’d say Eriksen, if its CM advanced playmaker I’d go for Kovacic.

  • comment avatar foo June 23, 2012

    What would be Kovetics best role? I have him and he has incredible stats but he just doesn’t perform for the price i paid (20 mil 4 seasons in).

    Averaging 7.30 after his first season, although maybe I’m a hard man to please.

    Im currently using him as an Advanced playmaker in CM position. Is he more suited to a Treq role since his defencive ability is pretty poor?

    • comment avatar Darren Smith June 23, 2012

      No you’re expecting too much IMO…their are at least three players in the team that could perform above him due to their role in the team…for instance I always expect my wingers and striker to outperform the central midfield as they will get the assists and goals, that is were the best ratings come from so you can’t expect him to get a huge rating…just expect him to be solid in the match engine.

  • comment avatar Ross July 9, 2012

    just finished my 3rd season with Benfica and after selling Campana at the start of the season, Kovacic stepped up and had an impressive season and has developed a good amount, however Campana has just been transferred for 9mill(luckily i had a sell on clause) from some low spanish club who i sold him to, to Real Sociedad. Maybe you should keep an eye out for a good future profile, I still think he could have been one you could develop into a vey good playmaker.

    • comment avatar Darren Smith July 9, 2012

      OK will see if he does much on my saves but hasn’t in the past.

  • comment avatar Kevin July 11, 2012

    im 4 seasons in with AC Milan and i’m absolutely gutted i just only recently found out about this site. Darren, Kovacic signed for shalke for 3.8 mil euros back in 2011 and now im trying to sign him they asking 64 mil euros claiming he recently signed a contract which expires in 2020 .This is Rediculous!! i see how u guys tlk about kovacic and i really must get him. Any tips, advice, alternatives?

    PS. im in the summer of 2015 and i am UCL winners. I play 4-1-3-2 . already have verratti, crisetig, adam vass(who i havent seen here) bertolacci, felipe anderson and willian.

    • comment avatar Darren Smith July 11, 2012

      Yeah he is a special talent indeed…I’m afraid you can’t change the price of a player but there are alternatives like Eriksen.

  • comment avatar Kevin July 11, 2012

    oh i plan on gettin rid of appears he plays best as winger or CAM and my formation i use now doesnt facilitate him and he’z gone from nailing 13-15 assist in a season to just 5 when i hav goal scoring gurus in pato, fierro and damiao

  • comment avatar Kevin July 11, 2012

    jus saw the reply …thnks mate.. But im looking for a player that could really spot a pass instead of booting the ball into the bleachers . I love Killer balls

    • comment avatar Darren Smith July 11, 2012

      I’d suggest searching on your filter in game and filter under minimum passing attributes then.

  • comment avatar Chuck August 5, 2012

    Darren, do you think he can develop more than what is shown in the future screenshot ?

    • comment avatar Darren Smith August 5, 2012

      Yes I do, he did with me for Malaga but not enough to make it worth changing the screenshots.

  • comment avatar Chuck August 5, 2012

    Felipe Anderson or Kovacic for a DLP (support) role?

    • comment avatar Darren Smith August 5, 2012


      • comment avatar Chuck August 5, 2012

        Any main reasons mate ?

        • comment avatar Darren Smith August 5, 2012

          I don’t rate Anderson in the same league as kovacic and kovacic was one of my best signings.

          • comment avatar Chuck August 5, 2012

            In your save does his passing and creativity improve any more ?!

          • comment avatar Darren Smith August 5, 2012

            His passing hit 20 and I think creativity was 18 or 19.

  • comment avatar James August 10, 2012

    Darren, would he be a could AP ?

    • comment avatar James August 10, 2012

      Would he be a good* PS. I also have Thiago on my team on the right as an attacking midfielder. Would he be a better AP ?

      • comment avatar Darren Smith August 10, 2012

        Yes to both.

        • comment avatar James August 10, 2012

          Off topic mate but what is your opinion on my team ? It is a 3-3-3-1 tiki taka tactic which works brilliantly !

          GK Luis Guilherme
          RB Sime Vrsaljko
          CB Zouma
          LB Jack Robinson
          LEFT ANCHOR Fellaini  
          CDM(PLAYMAKER)  Kroos  
          RIGHT ANCHOR M’Vila
          RAM Thiago  (A)
          CAM (AP)   Ganso  
          LAM Götze (A)
          DLF Rafinha  

          Are there any changes I can make do you think ?

          • comment avatar Darren Smith August 10, 2012

            It looks fine…everybody has there own style etc, I can’t comment on what yours is just say its a good team.

  • comment avatar Tom B September 1, 2012

    Just signed the lad for my deportivo team in the second season after getting promoted to la Liga. Started really well and looks so comfortable on the ball.

    Great suggestion and great website :)

    • comment avatar Darren Smith September 1, 2012

      Thanks mate, glad this helped.

  • comment avatar Mattias J Arenty December 21, 2012

    Where would you recomend you this kid AMC or CM ?

    • comment avatar Darren Smith December 21, 2012

      I never use AMC so couldn’t be unbiased here, just try both, it depends on your tactic at the end of the day.

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