Chelsea Sweating Over N’Golo Kante

Chelsea are going to have to deal with the next few games without Frenchman N’Golo Kante in their  midfield.

The key holding midfielder was one of the club’s star turns last term as the ‘Blues’ romped home to the Premier League title.

But during the international break the ball winning central midfielder suffered from a hamstring injury while representing the French national team as they managed to qualify for next summer’s World Cup in Russia.

It seems as though N’Golo might now miss a few weeks of action.

Only last month, Chelsea boss Antonio Conte came out in the press and discussed how vital Kante was to his team:

‘N’Golo is very important for us – a top player,’

 ‘It was an amazing performance. He played a really fantastic game.’

Now Tiemoue Bakayoko is a great all-round midfielder but Antonio likes playing with two players who can show defensive discipline in the engine room.

Conte will probably have to ask Bakayoko to sit more and have either Cesc Fabregas or Danny Drnkwater come in and play in beside him. That will still give them a softer centre than they’re used to. New signing Drinkwater and veteran Fabregas are better on the ball than they are at winning tackles.

I’d imagine that Conte would favour using the Spanish international primarily as Drinkwater has still to recover from a calf problem.

Another option for the Italian coach could be to move central defender David Luiz further forward. The Brazilian is actually fairly decent in that role. He frequently played in that position during Rafa Benitez’s short tenure at Stamford Bridge a few years back.

Luiz is good with the ball at his feet, has a great range of passing, possesses good vision, can tackle and intercepts the ball which can protect those playing in behind him. The thirty year old does have the ability to lose concentration at important times.

It should be noted that the eccentric star played in that role superbly well in the Blues win against rivals Tottenham Hotspur, earlier in the campaign.

Conte may feel that he can keep Luiz at the back against Crystal Palace this weekend. The Eagles have still to record a goal and secure a point in the league so far this term. So having a more creative talent in Cesc pulling the strings from a deeper position could be for the better in this particular fixture.

But if Kante misses the Champions League clash with Roma on Wednesday, then maybe Luiz will play in the holding role in that game.

The Chelsea support will hope that they don’t suffer anymore injuries in the immediate future. Conte warned his board that they needed more personnel in his pool. At the moment the squad is looking a bit weaker but maybe it’s time to use more of the clubs top academy players.

Selling defensive midfielder Nemanja Matic to fellow title challengers Manchester United always seemed odd and they could’ve done with another new player to help in the engine room.

Chelsea will hope that they don’t lose anymore ground to Man United and Manchester City but for that to happen they’ll be keen to get the ever so reliable N’Golo Kante back in his position sitting in front of the defence and protecting his backline as only he can!

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