Despite an injury-plagued season in which the 31-year-old has played in less than half of Chelsea’s games, N’Golo Kante has been linked with a move to Manchester United.
Thomas Tuchel has described Chelsea’s predicted third-place Premier League finish as a “miracle” given N’Golo Kante’s injury troubles.
Thanks to Marcos Alonso’s beautifully performed goal, Chelsea drew 1-1 with Leicester at Stamford Bridge, sealing third place in all categories but mathematics.
Chelsea lead fourth-placed Tottenham by 18 goals, and Tuchel believes the battle for third place is effectively won. Tuchel laments Kante’s absence.
Kante, who was linked with a summer transfer to Manchester United, has missed more than half of the season owing to a variety of injuries, prompting Tuchel to lament his absence.
Tuchel feels the Blues must find a way to provide the 31-year-old Chelsea veteran more playing time in order to boost his chances of staying in west London for another year.
Tuchel continued, “I feel he is our key, key, key player,” but “key, key, key players must be on the pitch.”
He only made an appearance in 40% of the games. So we came in third place by some miracle.”
“Because he’s our Mo Salah, our Van Dijk, our Kevin De Bruyne, and he’s simply that player.
He’s our Kylian Mbappe, our Neymar, the player who makes the difference. If you only have him 40% of the time, it’s a huge issue.
Given that ratio, it’s almost astonishing how regularly we achieve results, which puts everything into context.
Because I saw Liverpool’s struggles without Van Dijk last season. You can notice the change now. So N’Golo is a crucial player for us, and he must play.”
“I hope so.” Tuchel said when asked if Chelsea might help Kante with his physical issues.
It’s challenging to live with him since he has to be present and follow the schedule. I think he performed well, but there’s so much more he can do.”
“He is capable of far greater performances, but he hasn’t started a game in weeks.
So he gets into a rhythm, and then a slight injury happens, and he’s out again.
Consider that he was the man of the match in the last five Champions League games last season.
They gave him the trophy before the game, since it was evident that if he played, he would be chosen man of the match. This was the circumstance.
And this guy, who gets man of the match in every Champions League game, is only on the field for about 40% of the time.”
“This is crucial for us.” the German continued. “We, and of course, he, will do all possible to resolve the issue.
I can’t say I blame him; it’s a valid issue, and we certainly miss him because he contributes something unique to the sport of football.
He has the capacity to motivate and inspire people. And this is both his and our responsibility.”