Chelsea manager Frank Lampard was pessimistic about the adductor injury N’Golo Kante suffered during the 2-0 loss against Manchester United on Monday. Kante lasted fewer than 15 minutes in the loss against Manchester United, and Lampard provided an update after the contest:
“It’s an adductor injury. We’ll have to assess it, but it doesn’t look great.”
He added the Frenchman will have a scan to determine the severity of the injury. When asked if the 28-year-old’s latest injury is related to a previous problem, Frank Lampard said:
“I don’t know that yet for sure. I wouldn’t want to give you that information.
“I know it’s the same leg, so it’s similar.”
The VAR was unkind to the Blues, taking away two goals and not handing Maguire a red card, despite him seemingly kicking out at Michy Batshuayi. While the loss was a major blow to Chelsea―they’re winless in their last four Premier League outings and sit just one point ahead of Tottenham Hotspur―Kante’s injury could be even more detrimental in the long run.
The 28-year-old has been a constant presence in Chelsea’s midfield for the past few years, appearing in 34 or more Premier League matches in each of the last three seasons. The Frenchman is in the midst of his most prolific campaign yet, scoring three goals already despite spending two spells on the sidelines with injuries. His personal best over a full Premier League season is four.
Chelsea have a crucial stretch of their campaign coming up, with matches against the likes of Tottenham Hotspurs, Bayern Munich in the Champions League, Everton and Manchester City before the end of March. They’ll also face Liverpool in the FA Cup.
Mason Mount replaced Kante on Monday, and while the 21-year-old is a special talent with tremendous upside, he lacks the experience and consistency to be a worthy replacement on a weekly basis. The Englishman started the season well but has struggled of late, although he did provide two assists in the draw against Leicester City earlier this month.
The Blues are forced into an early change as Kante looks to have taken a knock. Mount is called into action from the bench.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) February 17, 2020
Kante’s injury could also be a major blow to the French national team just a few months ahead of the UEFA Euro 2020 tournament. Les Bleus will enter as world champions and among the favorites, but like Chelsea, they’re highly reliant on the tackling machine.
Corentin Tolisso, Matteo Guendouzi, Blaise Matuidi or Steven Nzonzi could slide into the team if Kante ends up missing the tournament, but none of those players can fully replicate the energy the former Leicester man brings to the side.
The question remains that can Chelsea cope up with an injury to N Golo Kante which would be detrimental to their top-four hopes? or is it the final nail in the coffin of Chelsea before the last quarter of Premier League to be played?