Thomas Tuchel explains why took off Chelsea star N’Golo Kante at half-time vs Aston Villa
According to Metro, Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel clarified that the decision to take N’Golo Kante off at halftime was premeditated. Kante was handed a start in the EFL Cup vs Aston Villa but was taken off at the break for Mason Mount to come in.
It has been an unusual season for Kante at Chelsea with a number of injuries and niggles keeping him out of the side or reducing his appearances to cameos. Over the weekend Kante played the role of a super-sub as his introduction turned the tide in favour of Chelsea against Tottenham.
Last night, Kante was handed a start against Villa. However, he did not play out the whole game as he was taken off at halftime. Mason Mount came on in his place as Chelsea had to take the game to penalties. He converted his chance during the shootout as well. The Blues eventually won the shootout with Kepa saving a crucial penalty.
With Kante being taken off sooner than many would have expected, questions were asked. Tuchel explained the situation and added that it was the same for a lot of the other subs such as Romelu Lukaku.
‘For Mason and N’Golo it was clear that we share the game. Thiago and Romelu we had for both cases. We said to Thiago maybe we need you for the last 15 if it was necessary to defend and have someone with experience and calm.’
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Perhaps it was strategic or just that Tuchel needed to rotate his options. Regardless, it looks as if no risks are being taken with Kante due to his injury problems this season. Plus it’s better to go this way as it puts less strain on the 30-year-old midfielder as Chelsea have a lot of important games coming up.
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