A lot of good moments come to my mind when the name N’Golo Kante is mentioned. Unfortunately, Kante has struggled with a lot of injuries this season and failed to live up to his usual expectations.
N’Golo Kante signed for Chelsea from Leicester City for 32 million. He had a terrific season with Leicester as he helped them secure the title. A year later he moved to Chelsea and in his first season he managed to win the PL again. He played a huge part in that season and he won the PFA Player Of the Year, and rightfully so. He became one of the best midfielders in the world and proved it on global stage as well, as he won the World Cup with France in 2018. A lot of Kante’s exceptional performances came when he played as a DM. In 2018, Chelsea brought in Maurizio Sarri who gave Kante more of an attacking role, while Jorginho sat as a defensive playmaker.
With new manager Frank Lampard coming in, he followed the steps of Maurizio Sarri by giving Kante more of an attacking role. One game comes to mind where Kante was absolutely exceptional was when he played against Liverpool in the Super Cup. He totally bossed the midfield.
According to Squawka, these were Kante’s stats for the game:
120 minutes played
84% pass accuracy
4 chances created
2 aerial duels won
The thing that has to be taken into consideration is that Kante played that game with a hamstring injury. His performance on that day was simply magnificent and it showed how he adapted to his new role.
Recently, Kante has been criticised by a lot of Chelsea fans that think he’s letting Chelsea’s midfield down and stopping Jorginho from reaching his potential. But the fact of the matter is that Chelsea’s midfield collapses when Kante is not playing. Let’s have a look at the Bayern Munich game, for example. The Chelsea midfield got absolutely dominated that game, and since Kante missed out due to injury, there was no one to win the ball back and stop the dangerous counter attacks that Munich were capable of.
We also cannot forget Kante’s exceptional game against Tottenham at the White Hart Lane. Chelsea manager Frank Lampard chose to leave Jorginho out and start Kante and Kovacic. They both played fantastically and bossed that midfield. With no Jorginho in the team and Kante doing his usual work of just retaining possession and stopping those counter attacks, the Chelsea team was thriving as Kovacic drove in front with the ball and managing to create a lot of space for his teammates.
The reason Chelsea have struggled a lot this season is due to the injuries they’ve had, not just with Kante, but with other players as well. With Kante in the side, the Chelsea back line is stronger, which is something you don’t get to see when Jorginho is in the starting lineup.
Although Kante has had an average season, I would still give him a 5/10, as it’s mainly because of the injuries he has suffered. People tend to forget that without Kante Chelsea midfield would be in huge trouble and the midfield won’t be able operate in the same way if he is dropped or manages to leave the club. He is world class player, and Chelsea’s fans should be thankful for having such great midfielder on their hands, as he is world class. Hopefully after this whole pandemic is over and football resumes, then we will see the old Ngolo Kante, who is energetic, determined and shows that he is one of the best midfielders in the world.
UP THE CHELS!
Edited by: Dan