Sarri rules out switching Kante to Chelsea central midfield

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri and N'Golo Kante during training Action Images via Reuters/Peter Cziborra
United Bank for Africa

Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante will not be moved back to his preferred position in central midfield, according to the English Premier League clubside’s manager Maurizio Sarri.

The Italian manager said the role was more suited to technical players such as Jorginho and Cesc Fabregas.

Kante emerged as a leading deep-lying midfielder in recent seasons, winning back-to-back Premier League titles with Leicester City and Chelsea.

He also helped France to claim the 2018 FIFA World Cup, but Sarri said he had to adapt to an advanced role.

“I want to play a central midfielder who is a very technical player. So, for me, it’s Jorginho or Fabregas.

“I don’t want Kante in this position,” Sarri told reporters ahead of Thursday’s UEFA Europa League clash with Greek side PAOK Salonika.

Chelsea head into the contest on the back of a 3-1 league defeat by Tottenham Hotspur, their first loss of the season, where Kante and Jorginho struggled to influence the game.

The result saw Chelsea drop to fourth in the standings and Sarri criticised 27-year-old Kante’s performance.

“Kante, in the last match, wanted to solve the match after the first 15 minutes, but in the wrong way. He lost the position, he attacked too much,” Sarri added.

“This one is not one of the best characteristics of Kante, but it was only in reaction to the difficulties.

“Maybe it’s only a question of time, but Kante has to stay near to Jorginho, especially when the ball is on the other side,” the Chelsea coach said.