N’Golo Kanté found his big smile this week at Clairefontaine. The defensive midfielder (29 years old, 41 caps) was happy to see his teammates with whom, for the most part, he was crowned world champion in Russia in 2018. At Chelsea in recent weeks, on the other hand, the former player from Caen looked rather grim. His relationship with manager Frank Lampard has cooled.
According to our information, N’Golo Kanté had asked the Blues technician for permission to miss a training day in order to go to the wedding of one of his friends. But Lampard was inflexible and did not comply with the request of his defensive midfielder. Flawless on and off the pitch since joining the London club in June 2016, Kanté has struggled to accept this decision.
While Antonio Conte, his former coach at Chelsea, has been courting him since the beginning of the summer to join him at Inter Milan, he was then ready to take up a new challenge at the end of the transfer window. But, a transfer like hers does not happen in a few days.
He still dreams of Real Madrid
Especially since even if the atmosphere is cool on the banks of the Thames, Chelsea still relies heavily on their world champion under contract until 2023. “A transfer will be easier to achieve next year”, thinks- do we in the entourage of the player. Inter Milan will undoubtedly still be in the running. But the one who started football in Suresnes (Hauts-de-Seine) still dreams of Real Madrid, his favorite club since childhood.
Until next summer, N’Golo Kanté wants to succeed a big year with the Blues and the Blues after a 2019-2020 season marked by multiple injuries. He was indeed the victim of a sprained ankle followed by a muscle injury and finally a tendon strain which made him unavailable for 98 days. Then, during the restart, the best Premier League player in 2017 had missed 8 days of training by staying at home. A request validated by the English club which had said to understand its reluctance given the health context. The world champion was then afraid to play football again because of the Covid-19 pandemic but also because of a cardiac history in his family.
One of his brothers died just before the World Cup in Russia and his father died when he was 11. He himself had fainted and lost consciousness in the locker room at the Chelsea training center in March 2018.
Among the Blues, “N’Golo is essential”
All of these events partly explain Kanté’s timid debut this season in the Premier League where Chelsea currently sit in 7th place. But, the double champion of England (2016 and 2017) was also the best player of the victorious France team in Sweden (0-1) on the first day of the League of Nations last month.
“N’Golo is essential, it was huge against Sweden, supports the 1998 world champion Robert Pirès. It is normal that he has a very small decline in club speed with his extraordinary slaughter in the midfield. He never manages on a field, he does things thoroughly and it shows. This very slight drop in speed can also be explained by his numerous injuries last year. We have to find the rhythm. “Could the emergence of a Camavinga threaten its place as holder in the Blues? “I like Camavinga a lot but there is a hierarchy in the France team,” said Pirès. Can he play with N’Golo? I answer yes. Can he play for him? The answer is no. “
Article original de: www.leparisien.fr