While Rakitic and Modric have firmly established themselves as elite players Kovacic is still a relatively unproven youngster.
Blessed with bags of talent the 20-year-old is yet to truly light up Serie A following his £15 million move to Inter Milan from Dinamo Zagreb in January 2013.
Unable to score for Inter despite 49 appearances in all competitions a little more was expected early on in return despite his relative inexperience.
The Croat is a versatile midfielder and is usually deployed as a central midfielder or a deep-lying playmaker but can play either wide on the left or as a trequarista if required.
And therein lies the problem. Kovacic is a jack of all trades, master of none.
If head coach Niko Kovac clearly defines his role at this summer's tournament then perhaps Kovacic can make more of an impression, particularly in the assists department.
What bigger platform to grab your opportunity than the biggest football competition going and Kovacic must surely know this.
It is key that he gets more involved in the build-up play as he will undoubtedly complement the likes of Rakitic and Modric.
Should that happen Croatia will be quite the creative force in the middle of pitch that can perhaps more than make up for the team's vulnerability without an orthodox defensive midfielder.
And at the same time provide the service for star forward Mario Mandzukic.