Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has confirmed that N’Golo Kante will be available to feature in their Champions League clash with Ajax this week.
The 28-year-old has been restricted to just six appearances so far this season, with an ankle issue initially sidelining before he picked up a groin problem over the last international break.
Given his influence on the side with his energy, tenacity and all-round quality in midfield, it has been a major loss for Chelsea to be without him for the majority of the campaign thus far, although they haven’t done too badly in his absence.
The Blues sit in fourth place in the Premier League table with 23 points from their 11 games thus far, while they’re also top of their Champions League group ahead of the crunch clash with Ajax on Tuesday night.
However, getting Kante back will certainly be a major boost for all concerned as he has been a key figure in their previous success and offers experience and quality in the heart of the midfield as well as crucial depth with Chelsea looking to compete on multiple fronts this season, as pointed out by Lampard in his press conference below.
“He’s in the squad, so he’s fit,” Lampard told the media, as quoted by Sky Sports. “It looks nicely like the injuries and the few niggles that he was getting have cleared up and we’ve been able to get some work into him.
“It’s always a little bit stop-start before that, so yeah, he’s in the squad and available. Of course he’s huge for us.
“He’s one of the best midfield players in the world and has been for a few seasons, so I won’t complain about the nice problem that I have with him fit.
“I want competition. We’re playing every three or four days at the minute. So I’m going to need all of them.”
Time will tell whether or not Lampard is afforded the chance to ease the Frenchman back into action against the Eredivisie champions in midweek, or perhaps he’ll wait until Saturday’s encounter with Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge to green light his comeback as he won’t want to take any risks and see him suffer any immediate setbacks.