Back in 2013, Kanté was a 22 year old playing second division football in France. Fast forward 7 years and he’s won back to back Premier Leagues and a World cup. At only 5′ 6″, he has always been an engine in midfield. His ability off the ball and to cover distance is next to none. Often hailed as one of the best midfielders in the world, the Frenchman has recently looked nowhere near his usual best due to his season having been marred by a series of ankle and hamstring injuries. As a result of this, Kanté’s season has been very stop-start – the highest amount of games that he has started consecutively is only seven and he has only started in 48% of Chelsea’s games in all competitions this season.
There was lots of outrage in the football world over Maurizio Sarri’s decision to play Kanté in an advanced role with Jorginho being used as a deep playmaker. However, Frank Lampard has at some points used Kanté similarly. Though he has improved certain aspects and shown a new dimension to his game with his goals and forward runs at times, he hasn’t been consistent. Suprisingly Chelsea have won only 5 of the 15 matches in which Kanté has started. He is no longer a permanent figure in midfield with Kovacic, Mount and Jorginho cementing their spots and the likes of Gilmour and Barkley producing good performances. The much hyped midfield three of Kanté, Jorginho and Kovacic has unfortunately looked unbalanced and lacked smoothness between midfield an attack.
Kanté has always been a fan favourite at the club, but this season that hasn’t always been the case with a section of fans wanting the Chelsea star out. The 28 year old has, however, reiterated his desire to stay at the London club amidst interest from PSG and Real Madrid.
It might seem absurd to sell your best player, but there is a rational approach to this. With Frank Lampard rebuilding his squad it is logical to sell Kanté who turns 29 later this year. Does the Frenchman fit into Lampard’s system? Should he go back to his position at the expense of Jorginho or continue playing in an attacking role? Also, the need to strengthen other positions this summer has made this even more tempting and the right time to cash in.
Personally I would keep Kanté at the club considering how crucial he has been over the years, and how effective he can be when fully fit. We can only hope that this dip in form is only due to his injuries and that he will be back to his usual best when the season resumes.
So, what do you think of the N’Golo Kanté situation? Let us know in the comments below and on Twitter @TheChelseaSpot!