September 17, (THEWILL) – In cheering news for the Blues Army, English Premier League side Chelsea have confirmed that their imperial French midfielder N’Golo Kante is ready to make his return to the squad. Manager Thomas Tuchel can therefore include him in Sunday’s team for the London derby against Tottenham Hotspur at the latter’s home.
It has been a difficult stop-start season so far for the Frenchman, who won the award for UEFA Champions Leaue Midfielder of the Season for last year.
Kante missed the opening game against Crystal Palace and managed just 45 minutes upon his return to the starting lineup in the 1-1 draw with Liverpool, where he picked up the groin injury that kept him out of the Blues’ last two games.
Although Chelsea has managed to avoid defeat in his absence with Romelu Lukaku providing the much-needed goals, it will please the Blues fans that Kante is over this latest setback. Tuchel revealed this in his pre-match press conference that Kante is back in full training and available to return to the squad.
Tuchel was very direct when he said: “N’Golo is back. He’s back in full shape and ready to play.”
In more positive news, Tuchel also confirmed that Chelsea have no fresh injury concerns to deal with, leaving just American winger Christian Pulisic on the sidelines with the ankle injury he picked up while on duty for the United States Men’s National Football Team.
About the American, Tuchel said: “Christian is in individual training and trying to come back to team training as fast as possible. He will not be in the squad.”
The presence of the irrepressible Kante in the Chelsea midfield will be an enormous boost for the Blues especially with a schedule that sees them in action in five matches between this weekend and the international break in early October.
There will be the need to rotate the squad and it will be of essence for Tuchel to have options and the quality of a player like Kante ready to be deployed as required. It will be the sort of opportunity for players like Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic and new signing Saul Niguez, who endured a nightmare debut against Aston Villa, to get in some good minutes under their belts.
Tuchel will undoubtedly go for strength in all competitions, yet the likelihood is that some playing time can also trickle down to some fringe players at Stamford Bridge such as Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, the latter of whom was handed a brief run-out in the final minutes of the 1-0 win over Zenit St Petersburg on Tuesday.