N’Golo Kante “huge problem” at Chelsea amid Man Utd links ‘plays only 40 percent’

N’Golo Kante “huge problem” at Chelsea amid Man Utd links ‘plays only 40 percent’; Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel says.

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has detailed “huge problem” with N’Golo Kante at Chelsea amid Man Utd links.

Kante has been linked with a move to Manchester United, despite suffering from a number of injury issues and playing in less than half of Chelsea’s fixtures.

However, Tuchel hailed Kante as a “miracle” given his injury struggles.

Tuchel: N’Golo Kante “huge problem” 

The 31-year-old has a year left to run on his Chelsea deal, with Tuchel insisting the Blues must find a way to have him playing more regularly to boost his chances of a longer stay in west London.

“I think he is our key, key, key player; but key, key, key players need to be on the pitch,” said Tuchel. “He plays only 40 percent of the games. So it’s maybe a miracle that we arrived in third place.

“Because he is our Mo Salah, he is our (Virgil) Van Dijk, he is our (Kevin) De Bruyne, he is simply that player. He is our Neymar, he is our Kylian Mbappe; he is the guy who makes the difference. And if you only have him 40 percent it’s a huge problem.

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“Given that percentage, it’s maybe a miracle of how consistent we produce results and puts everything into perspective. Because I saw Liverpool without Van Dijk last season and they struggled, heavily. And you see the difference. So N’Golo is our key player, and he needs to be on the pitch.”

Asked if Chelsea can solve Kante’s physical issues, Tuchel continued: “I hope so. It’s hard to live with because it’s important for him to be there and have the rhythm.

“I think he played OK, but he can play so much better. He can play so much better, but when was the last game that he started, it was weeks ago. So he constantly starts getting a rhythm, then once he gets rhythm comes to a little injury and he’s out again.

“Imagine last year, he was in the last five matches of Champions League man of the match. I mean they handed him the trophy before the match because it was clear when he played he would be the man of the match. It was like this. And this guy who gets man of the match in every Champions League game, he’s only here for 40-something percent of the match.”

The German continued: “This is huge for us. We do everything to solve it, and of course him as well. I don’t blame him, it’s a concern and it’s a fact that we miss him a lot. Because he brings something unique in world football.

“He has that ability to lift everybody up and make the difference. And this is the challenge for him, and for us.”

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