It baffles me how a player of Kante’s abilities and calibre is struggling to influence the outcome of matches played by Chelsea so far this season.
The Frenchman is known as a no-nonsense defensive midfielder who covers so much ground during matches.
His teammates, even opponents, often praise the player for his high and hard tackling ability which make them trembles at the sight of his steps.
His dominant display of strength, character, techniques and quality in all matches he played during his days at Leicester City seem to have stopped since Sarri made his much talked about switch to Stamford Bridge.
What then is Kante’s problem?
Isn’t it obvious enough that the 26-year-old is being played out of position by the Italian manager?
In his breakthrough season under Claudio Ranieri at King Power Stadium, the Frenchman didn’t move more than six steps past the half-way line throughout the 2015-16 season.
He is often seen at the middle of the pitch terminating any form of danger oppositions are planning. His impressive way of snatching balls off opponents’ feet was lauded by many coaches and pundits throughout the season which would be remembered as the best in the Foxes history.
His defensive competency made many clubs from top European countries queued for his signature.
Chelsea won the race for his services as it was too obvious that the Foxes couldn’t prevent the player from moving unto the level he deserves.
Conte didn’t contemplate where and how to use the jewel he’s gotten from Leicester City, he easily slotted him to his best position — Defensive midfield position.
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The shy but strong midfielder continued from where he stopped as he made many breathtaking tackles, many runs, win many free kicks and equally made many off-the-line clearances.
With the help of Kante’s magnificent display, Conte became another Italian manager to win a Premier League trophy.
However, the same story can’t be said about Kante so far this season because his quality has drastically changed(reduced) just as his playing position has been changed by Sarri.
I’ve never seen a manager — not even highly respected Didier Deschamps– ever think of moving the Frenchman to an advanced role until Sarri came on board.
Kante didn’t have a great record of scoring plenty of goals or assisting many goals, then, why is Sarri trying the impossible?
Sarri has gotten some high-profile playmakers under his belt, he should take time and perform his homework as Chelsea manager.
Jorginho, whom he claimed to have known for a long time, is a deadly playmaker whose defence-splitting passes and goalscoring abilities are second to none.
Eden Hazard needs no introduction, he is a world-class playmaker but Sarri has chosen to ignore his creativity by choosing to convert him to an uncharacteristic goalscorer.
How to get the best from Kante
It is simple, bring Hazard to his natural playmaking position or let him continue in his wing role.
Bring Kante back to the defensive midfield position, where he would provide optimum protection for the back four.
Push Jorginho to the attacking midfield position so as to explore his great creativity and goalscoring prowess.
Kante is not a playmaker, and he will never be one, for now, so, it’s important Sarri play the Frenchman to his strength or risk losing him to an interested suitor