Frank Lampard has said that he hopes N’Golo Kante will be reintegrated into training having sustained an injury to the end of last season.
The French World Cup Winner picked up a minor knee injury but battled through and appeared in the Europa League Final.
Kante has been training by himself working alongside the Chelsea physios as they work towards match fitness ahead of the new season.
The 28-year-old midfielder did not travel with the squad to Dublin as Lampard began his pre-season. However, the new Chelsea manager hopes to reintegrate the Frenchman into the squad as the Blues venture into Japan.
“He has been training on his own with the physios this week because he is still feeling the effects of his injury from the end of last season,” began Lampard. “We just want to be careful with him.
“It’s not a big problem. We know he’s a fit boy and he has a great attitude so the last thing we want to do is push him too early.
“Hopefully next week in Japan we’ll start to integrate him into the group.”
Kante’s importance this season
The two-time Premier League winner will be a crucial asset to Lampard next year who will offer experience, quality and a great work ethic.
Over the years the midfielder has earned the respect as one of the best in the world and holds the most elite honours to his name. Kante earned himself a place in the FIFPro Men’s World Team of the Year 2018 alongside the likes of Eden Hazard and Kylian Mbappe.
The Paris born midfielder will offer consistency - a player Lampard can rely on. Over his entire Premier League career Kante has never statistically made an error that has led to a goal nor has he received a red card.
He brings experience from the highest level but his work ethic to adapt to a new role will be appreciated by Lampard.
Last season under Maurizio Sarri the Frenchman played the box-to-box role in a midfield three having previously played in a midfield two under Antonio Conte and Claudio Ranieri.
Kante won the league on both occasions under Conte and Ranieri where he was given the license to win the ball back and protect the backline.
In relation to Lampard’s philosophy, the 41-year-old has commonly played a 4-2-3-1 which utilises a partnership in the middle of the park. However, Chelsea’s all-time top goal scorer also used the 4-4-2 diamond.
This season Kante will be crucial to either system Lampard chooses whether he is in a partnership with Jorginho or on the edge of the diamond.