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“They are positive”- Tuchel claims key midfield duo’s absence has been costly for Chelsea this season

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N'Golo Kanté and Mateo Kovačić during Chelsea training session.

Thomas Tuchel suggests injury losses of N’Golo Kanté and Mateo Kovačić has been expensive for Chelsea

According to Football.London, Thomas Tuchel has suggested that Chelsea missed the services of N’Golo Kanté and Mateo Kovačić during a challenging phase this season, which made the difference in the title race. 

In the last month alone, Chelsea had a lot of injury issues that affected our title challenge. Reece James, Andreas Christensen and Thiago Silva have all suffered fitness issues recently, which has only increased the number of missing players from the squad. But that’s not the only time our team had to go through a rough phase in this campaign.

Mateo Kovačić returned to full fitness just in the final weeks of December after a six-week-long injury and time out due to testing positive for Covid-19. In addition, N’Golo Kanté has only managed 12 appearances across all competitions due to several fitness issues throughout the season. 

Thomas Tuchel felt the pressure when choosing a Chelsea XI without  N'Golo Kanté and Mateo Kovačić.
Thomas Tuchel felt the pressure when choosing a Chelsea XI without N’Golo Kanté and Mateo Kovačić.

Both of them have been first-choice options for Thomas Tuchel in midfield, and their injuries pushed the manager to find different pairings with Jorginho, which certainly didn’t have the same influence. Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Saul Niguez, and Ross Barkley all enjoyed some time out in the sun as a result. 

Thomas Tuchel suggested that not having Mateo and N’Golo on his side could have harmed the team’s identity. 

“If you have players out like Mateo and N’Golo. They share the work with Jorginho on the very highest level in the middle of the pitch. So you miss the core of your team.”

Big miss

The German manager also revealed how these elite-minded professionals keep the whole team motivated and push everyone around them. He added that the attitude of these players is a crucial reason for their consistent performances throughout this term. 

“Players like N’Golo and Kova are so, so important for the way they come to training and the way they push everybody. The way they are positive. The top top players behave every day the same, no matter even if they have to rest one game or have personal differences, or sporting decisions against them, or they have to fight. Still, they have the experience and the attitude right.”

N'Golo Kante tested positive for Covid-19 earlier this season.
N’Golo Kante tested positive for Covid-19 earlier this season.

Kovacic and Kante certainly played a vital role in the success of our club in the past few seasons. These midfielders seem unalterable. Even though Thomas Tuchel tried to bring cover for the position by signing Saúl Ñíguez, the experiment hasn’t been successful as the Spaniard has failed to impress so far.

Barkley also hasn’t been up to the task and eventually fell down the pecking order. Therefore it seems, we have to keep depending on the services of our main midfielders to win matches. 

However, the over-dependability isn’t helping the team. The France international and the Italian star are ageing and soon we have to find players who can take their place. Young alternatives should be a key priority at this moment.

More Chelsea News

Transfers wouldn’t have to be the only way- the way our academy stars stepped up under Frank Lampard’s regime shows we can count on our younger stars to fill the void. The most obvious choice right now would be Billy Gilmour and Conor Gallagher, with the duo currently on loan at Norwich City and Crystal Palace respectively. 

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