The world’s best box-to-box midfielder has already won some back-to-back Premier League titles, the World Cup, and became the most respected player of Chelsea. But Chelsea still struggle for balance when he plays.
After the 1-0 defeat to Newcastle, Frank Lampard started to think critically about Kante, while His club’s best-paid player did not win two league games in a row.
N’Golo Kante is struggling through his first injury in his career this season. The reason was Lampard’s decision according to which he had to play through the pain barrier in the Europa League final.
After he played through his injury and grief in the World Cup final, Maurizio Sarri called on Kante to play in Baku. He needed pain-killing injections to contribute to an illustrious 4-1 win against Arsenal.
Some sources thought Kante wouldn’t show up in the match, but he lined up from the kick-off and managed to play during the full 90 minutes. He has had health problems since that day. Accordingly, he’s missing the entire pre-season.
Kante has had some other injury issues as well, ranging from ankle problems to hamstring complaints. Throughout the season, those injuries caused him to miss a total of 14 matches.
On Whose Side is the Truth?
All the bad impact on his playing quality must be caused due to missing pre-season or adapting to the new manager. Or maybe it’s simply because of a lack of match rhythm being built up.
The recent statistics show this and, remarkably, Chelsea are winning more without him in the side. Chelsea have only won one-third of their league games with Kante and almost 90% without him.
Against Steve Bruce’s Newcastle side, N’Golo Kante struggled and uncharacteristically failed to dominate his opponents through the midfield. He won just one-third of his 17 duels, gave away four fouls, and squandered a fifth of his passes.
Lampard followed Sarri’s advice in asking Kante to play further forward in a midfield three, after his success in a two-person midfield under Claudio Ranieri and Antonio Conte.
After the Watford win, Lampard said he enjoyed watching their play. That time Kante had missed five of Chelsea’s six games during their best winning race of the season.
Lampard must increasingly be looking at how the presence of the France superstar affects the balance of his team. But still, Kante is widely regarded as the world’s best box-to-box midfielder and will likely do his best against Arsenal.