Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has confirmed that N’Golo Kante will sit out their encounter with Sheffield United at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
The Blues registered their first win of the season last weekend in a thrilling clash at Norwich City, and Lampard will be hoping to see them build on that and collect another three points.
However, they’ll have to do so without Kante, as the Frenchman has been ruled out of the game with an ankle problem, as Lampard confirmed his absence himself.
“N’Golo Kante is not fit, so the continuation of his ankle problem and he won’t be travelling with the France squad either. I had a conversation with Didier Deschamps and we both agreed it’s the best thing for him. Let’s try and get him fit over the break,” he is quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.
“It’s a setback, of course. My focus is then to make sure he’s okay. He’s had four years of constant football at an incredibly high energy and output level. We have to get that right.”
While it’s a short-term blow for Lampard in that Kante will miss further playing time after a disrupted start to the campaign, he’ll surely be delighted with the decision to leave him out of the France squad too over the upcoming international break.
As mentioned by the Chelsea boss, that should give the 28-year-old a chance to rest and fully recovery from the injury that has been bothering him for weeks, while also getting a chance to get his full fitness back and not have to continue to play heavy minutes.
Time will tell if he is able to recover in time to face Wolves on September 14, but Lampard certainly now has a better chance of seeing that happen compared to if he had travelled with the France squad, as he will want the influential star back as soon as possible to continue to provide much-needed energy, tenacity and quality in his midfield.