‘N’Golo Kante is wasted at Chelsea under Maurizio Sarri’ : Bold claim made

Maurizio Sarri is doing a lot of things right at Chelsea so far.

Jorginho is top of the stats for the number of passes in the Premier League so far this season, Eden Hazard is back to his scintillating best and the Blues have won five and drawn one of their six games so far.

But Sky Sports pundits Paul Merson and Steve Sidwell believe the Italian is getting one thing wrong – the way he is utilising N’Golo Kante.

The diminutive midfielder won back-to-back Premier League titles with two different clubs in 2015/16 and 2016/17, helping Leicester to an unlikely crown and then Chelsea when he moved to Stamford Bridge.

He is regarded as one of, if not the best in his position in front of the back-line and went on to help France win the World Cup in Russia in the summer doing just that.

But Sarri brought Jorginho with him from Napoli during the summer, and the Italian has taken that position in front of the back-line, with Kante moved to the right in a more attacking role.

It has raised question marks and Merson and Sidwell believe the unassuming midfielder is wasted there.

Merson said: “I don’t think it’s Kante’s position in a more advanced role.

“He’s not going to get you five goals in a whole season and he’s probably not going to get five assists, it’s a bit of a waste of a position really.

“Jorginho is a proper player, he’s always looking forward, his first thought it to pass forward, but to win two league titles with two different clubs just shows how good he [Kante] is.”

Sidwell went on to say: “I don’t think the system suits Kante and I think he feels that as well. I know he’s got the legs, is a wiling runner and seems like a nice fella off the pitch and will just say ‘yeah ok I’ll do that for you’, but I think he’s best suited to sit in front of that back four, shoring everything up, doing everyone’s work and giving it to the [other] players to go and win the game.”

Discussing Chelsea’s potential to win the league, Merson offered Sarri a piece of advice.

“In the big games I think he’s got to play Kante right next to Jorginho,” he said. “Those two have just got to sit in front of the back four because I don’t really trust the back four, especially in the big games.

“Play them both in there in the big, big games then I think they’ll be all right.”

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