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N’golo Kante: Misfit or Declined?


Something is wrong with N’golo Kante at Chelsea, for a player who has been so widely regarded for his abilities. It’s shocking and surprising to see a team carrying him, rather than him having an impact. However, it’s the truth of the moment as Chelsea is having to carry N’golo Kante and make a place for him when it isn’t really available.

We look at why that is the case and what can be a potential solution:

Whether you like to admit it or not, but bringing a balance to Chelsea’s midfield with the players they have is a challenge in itself. While looking at the individual players you can easily see the quality they possess. However, they miss some key profiles while also having too many players of a similar profile.

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In terms of attacking midfielders or as they call it, the No.8s and No.10s, they have the likes of Kai Havertz and Mason Mount. In terms of ball progressor, they have N’golo Kante himself and Matteo Kovacic, while Jorginho and Billy Gilmour are more of deep playmakers than a defensive midfielder. And that’s what’s creating the problem.

The unavailability of a proper defensive midfielder is making life difficult for N’golo Kante, who has had to fill in as a defensive midfielder even though he doesn’t possess those qualities.

N’golo Kante is primarily a ball-winning midfielder and a ball progressor, who’s at his best when played as a Box-to-Box midfielder with the freedom to roam around the pitch. However, Chelsea plays a midfield of three, either with one No.10 and two pivots or one pivot and two No.8. Kante is neither a pivot nor a No.10, he needs to be played alongside a No.8, either Havertz or Mount. However, Chelsea doesn’t have a player who can play as a single pivot.

While N’golo Kante also has to take some responsibility for his poor performances, Chelsea needs to bring in a player who can complement the Frenchman in the midfield truly unless he.

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