A Welcome Addition to Chelsea
Chelsea’s midfielder N’Golo Kante was a vital part to the squad in the 2018-2019 season. When the midfielder missed games, it was evident how important he was to the team. While not known for scoring, his ability to assist the forwards on the attack and help the defence in transition is what he’s capable of doing. When the 2019/20 season started, it was obvious that Kante was going to be important to the team.
In the second game of the season, which was the UEFA Super Cup against Liverpool, Kante returned from injury and was slotted into the starting 11. Upon returning from injury, many changes have happened with Chelsea. With the transfer ban in place, Frank Lampard has elected to bring youth players from the academy into the starting line-up. Kante returned with very little training and did not see any game time in preseason, however, he played a great game versus Liverpool. While Chelsea wasn’t able to win the game, the midfielder showcased why he will be important to the team this season.
Kante’s Style of Play
Kante has been regarded as a defensive midfielder, always coming back to help the defence and keep the ball out of his end. After this past game versus Liverpool, N’Golo showed why he should be a box to box type of player and take control of the midfield. He is more than just a defender, he has the ability to change the game, control the game, join the attack, go to the wing and deke around the defender and can run back to help the defence. He’s a player that every team would love to have.
Kante’s work ethic is tremendous, as he’s always committed to the play and never gives up. He is always running back and getting involved in the press, showing full effort. The midfielder started the game not being fully recovered from an injury but still played as he wanted to be on the field with his teammates for an important game. It was hardly noticeable that he didn’t play in the pre-season as it seemed that the midfielder had been training up to until the Super Cup game.
Kante’s Effort on the Pitch
The Express reported that Frank Lampard stated, “The France International told him he was struggling with the pace of the game during the brief interval during extra-time.” … Furthermore, “He said to me at half-time in extra-time that his legs were finished, his legs were dead; and then he’s sprinting 50 yards to cover.”
While struggling to keep pace in the game and feeling fatigue, Kante didn’t give up on the play making the effort to come back and help the defence. The effort that the midfielder displays is immense as it shows he never gives up on the play and he’s always committed. This will help young players such as Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham in the long term, having them develop a good work ethic. He could be described as a leader.
How Will the Midfielder Fit into Chelsea’s Game Plans?
Lampard has spoken to Kante discussing how he sees the midfielder fit in his plans for the season. Don Silas reported on the Daily News Lampard stating, “Too much was made of N’Golo Kante’s position in midfield last season. Nobody is pinned down to an absolute structure. He doesn’t just have to sit and defend; he can have the freedom to drive up the pitch too.”
Don Silas from the Daily News reported Kante saying, “I like to play in this position, this where I played last year.” The coach and the player both agree that Kante should be playing freely. While he’s one of the best defensive midfielders in the game, being a box to box midfielder and playing freely is what Kante should be doing this year. Having the ability to join the attack and running back to defend will not only help the midfielders game but will also ease the game of his teammates. Lampard not keeping him in a certain role is good news for the midfielder. With Frank Lampard choosing to used the 4-2-3-1 formation, it may be the suitable choice for Kante’s skill set and benefit the midfielder.
It’s evident that when Kante is in the starting 11, Chelsea’s chances of winning are better. With Chelsea going through a transfer ban this season, expect Kante to be in the line up most nights as Lampard will be dependent on the midfielder. Frank Lampard will also need to manage Kante’s workload in the best possible way as if the midfielder is to get hurt again it could make an impact on Chelsea’s season. In the time being it’s great to see Kante back.