Mateo Kovacic pointed to “proven scorer” Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to add vital firepower to Chelsea’s attack line.
Aubameyang could make his Chelsea debut on Tuesday in the Champions League Group E opener against Dinamo Zagreb.
The 33-year-old former Arsenal striker joined Chelsea on a £ 10m contract from Barcelona but faced a broken jaw suffered during a home invasion.
The Gabon striker had a bespoke mask fitted by specialists in Italy and trained fully with Chelsea on Sunday.
Croatian midfielder Kovacic will be full of pride to face his first home club on Tuesday, but he is also hoping to see Aubameyang bloom in Chelsea blue.
“I can say it will be a great addition for us,” said Kovacic. “He is a true striker, a scorer, who we have missed.
“In recent years we haven’t had a striker with 20, 25 goals you need to win the title. So we can’t wait to have him in our squad.
“He is an established scorer. It’s normal for him to score and I hope he does it here at Chelsea too ”.
Aubameyang may have to wear a protective face cover in Croatia, but the striker is no stranger to different types of masks.
The Marvel fan celebrated goals at both Dortmund and Arsenal wearing superhero masks, including Spiderman and Black Panther.
Aubameyang previously explained how she started the celebration routine to keep both her son and other young fans happy.
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel laughed at the mask connection but admitted that he will be happy for Aubameyang to celebrate however he wants as long as he signs.
“Don’t put any ideas in Auba’s head, please,” Tuchel joked. “There are no other ideas anyway! I’m pretty sure he has the of him. When he scores he can celebrate, but first of all he needs to score.
“He is very ambitious, focused, hungry to play for us, hungry to prove a point, again. That’s why he’s here and that’s why he plays for us. So we’re happy that tomorrow proves a point.
“Auba trained on Sunday with his mask, took a test and felt good. There were no problems yesterday when he trained and I hope there won’t be today.
“If a problem should arise we would obviously not include it. I think he could maybe start, but I think he can’t play 90 minutes. So it’s up to us to make a decision to handle his minutes.
“It is clear, however, that he needs minutes to find the fitness and pace of the complete match.”
Denis Zakaria, recruited on loan from Juventus, has also traveled to Croatia and could be another to debut with Chelsea, with the Swiss midfielder’s work permit obtained.
Thiago Silva did not travel with Chelsea who decided to rest the 37-year-old Brazilian defender.
Edouard Mendy is in shape, having shaken off all the problems of Saturday’s challenge with Jarrod Bowen in Chelsea’s 2-1 win over West Ham.
Hammers boss David Moyes accused Mendy of faking injury after Maxwell Cornet’s goal was canceled after the VAR review, denying West Ham a 2-2 draw.
Moyes avoided referees’ punishment despite confronting referee Andy Madley and dismissing VAR officer Jarred Gillet as unfit for duty.
Tuchel declined to be drawn for the wider aftermath of Saturday’s win, thanks to his combined £ 55,000 fine from Chelsea’s 2-2 draw with Tottenham.
Asked to respond to Moyes’ criticism of Mendy, Tuchel replied: “I didn’t hear anything. I haven’t heard the allegations. Mendy is available for tomorrow.
“You know what happened to me when I talked about the referee, and it was quite expensive. I told you I wouldn’t comment anymore.
“Also I don’t answer David, I can understand his frustration, his point of view. And we will leave it there “.
Asked about his general view on the current state of refereeing, Tuchel added: “What can I say now to be clear at the same time and not pay a fine again?
“Where is the line? Maybe somebody else better comment now. “