One of the more interesting debates I’ve seen on Twitter recently revolves around French superstar, N’Golo Kante and whether we still need him at Chelsea. This argument has arisen from his recent run of injuries and more importantly how well Chelsea have coped without him so far this season. I thought I’d break down the argument to see if there is any sense behind it, or if it is a load of rubbish.
First of all, Kante is a world class player, there’s no two ways about it. When we signed him from Leicester we knew what he was good at; outrageous tackle and interception numbers, an engine that could go full gas for 90 minutes and then some and brilliant dribbling ability. But what we didn’t expect was his versatility. During his time at the club he has played in a midfield 2 alongside Matic under Conte, as a progressive midfielder under Sarri and now in a double pivot under Lampard. Everyone knew he could defend, but no one expected the attacking side to his game which has developed in his time in London. Before, an argument could be made that Kante couldn’t shoot and he offered no attacking threat but now that is simply not true. Whether it is triple-nutmegging volleys against Spurs, outrageous finishes against Liverpool or carving defences open and coolly finishing against United, there is no longer an argument that Kante can’t score. He has become an incredibly well rounded player in his time in London.
Now we have established he is an incredible player, why do some fans want to sell him? Well the main argument I’ve seen is that he would sell for a lot of money, which is true. In this market Kante would easily sell for over £100m but do Chelsea need that money? With the recent transfer embargo and the sale of Eden Hazard, Chelsea are in a good financial position and by no means need to sell. In fact it has been rumoured that should the ban be overturned in January, Lampard would have £150m to spend, which is more than enough.
Another argument for moving the Frenchmen on is his recent run of injuries. He has missed most this season through a number of small reoccurring knocks. So far this term he has made just 7 appearances for the Blues. I’ll admit it is worrying how it seems every time he comes back he seems to get another injury. However Kante has this incredible ability to put out absolute masterclasses even when he’s supposed to only be half fit. In both games against Liverpool this season he has been unplayable despite only returning a few days prior. In short, his injuries are a concern but a Kante that plays 30 games a season is better than no Kante at all.
The final reason I’ve seen people using to justify his departure is that we have enough midfielders. It’s true, we have a large number of quality players in midfield. Jorginho, Kovacic, Mount, Loftus-Cheek and Gilmour are all either top quality or have potential to be and they give us flexibility to play a multitude of systems but no one offers what Kante does. Having Kante is like having two players, he is just everywhere and you can’t put a price on that.
In conclusion he would be worth a lot of money. He is becoming more injury prone. We do have enough midfielders to cover him if he did leave but there is something about the petit Frenchmen that is just irreplaceable and we would be foolish to let him go, for any amount of money.