The Chelsea hierarchy will be concerned with N’Golo Kante’s injury record of late.
What’s the word?
That is according to Simon Phillips who believes that the France international’s injury woes have become a problem for the Blues due to a lack of match fitness.
Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, the journalist said: “Kante’s general injury history in recent times is concerning for the Chelsea board regardless of the last games.
“He missed four to five weeks out injured before even returning to group training, so in terms of match fitness, that was always going to take longer.”
A worrying admission
In another interview with GIVEMESPORT last month, Phillips dropped a damning statistic which laid bare just how much game time Kante has missed during his time in west London, stating: “I looked at a stat the other day and Kante has missed 50 per cent of games that he could be available for in the last two seasons, so that’s a real problem and worry.”
Indeed, having missed last night’s Champions League clash against AC Milan, the 31-year-old has played in just two of Chelsea’s 12 games so far this season, on top of missing 16 matches in 2021/22 due to five separate illness or injury issues.
There is no doubting the quality that Kante brings to any midfield, with his nature different to the player who shot to fame at Leicester City.
The Frenchman adapted his game under former Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel and functions as a much more progressive box-to-box type of midfielder rather than the out-and-out defensive sweeper we saw at the King Power Stadium back in the 2015/16 title-winning season for the Foxes.
His adapted style in the central areas would suit Potter’s setup down to a tee, with the 31-year-old a trustworthy and rounded asset who excels in multiple facets of the game. His average of 3.19 shot-creating actions and 2.7 carries into the final third per 90 a sign of his attacking intent, while his match average of 4.9 tackles and interceptions is an indicator of his defensive acumen.
If Kante can overcome his latest injury setback and regain match fitness, there is no doubt that he can buy himself extra time at Stamford Bridge. However, with the France international well into the final year of his contract in SW6 and continuing to be laid low by injury, time is ticking for him to secure his future at Chelsea.