One time World Cup winner, two time premier league champion, FA Cup winner, PFA player of the year, along with so many other awards, not a lot of midfielders, or players in general, can boast about being on par with Kante’s achievements.
Being regarded as one of the best midfielders in the world isn’t a small feat, and Chelsea football club, along with fans would be pretty skeptical about selling him off, but that’s the current case right now. Kante’s been in the news lately, with reports suggesting Barcelona, Real Madrid and PSG are keen on adding him to their squad. So the question lingers, “Should Chelsea cash in on Kante?” And the answer to this is pretty much YES.
Since beginning of last season, following Sarri’s arrival and Lampard’s takeover this season, it appears his influence on the game has reduced. From registering high numbers in tackles and interceptions and many more, he’s registered relatively lower numbers in those areas, but his attacking output has greatly increased. It could be argued, that his best position isn’t playing in one side of the midfield in a 4-3-3, but rather in a double pivot, to play as a box to box midfielder, while offering high pressure against opponents, as shown in Leicester, Chelsea (under Conte) and for France at the World Cup winking campaigns. Perhaps it’s better he moves to another club, which would utilize his full skill sets.
Kante is 29, and has suffered a lot recently in terms of injuries. He has missed a large part of this season due to hamstring and groin injuries. Kante’s style of play was always going to cause his body stress and strain as the years went on. It’s feasible to cash in on him before his value completely depreciates.
There are youth players waiting in the sidelines for opportunities. Ruben Loftus-Cheek is coming back from injury, Mason Mount has been playing consistently, Billy Gilmour has shown he’s capable of playing at the highest level. Barkley, Kovacic, Jorginho are all senior players who would guide the youth and help in their development.
So if a big fee came in for the Frenchman, would Chelsea take it? Despite the shortcomings of this season, Kante remains a world class player and there is no one in the Chelsea squad capable of replacing him. If the Blues sold, then they would likely have to spend big to even come close to a player who could fill his boots, but a fit Kante makes any team worthy of challenging for the title.
By: Muyiwa Aguda