Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante has returned to training in a huge boost for the struggling Blues after missing the club’s last six matches in all competitions.
Kante, who has also had to missed France’s Nations League games in September, hasn’t featured since mid-August when Chelsea drew 2-2 against Tottenham. They have only won twice in his absence and have suffered unexpected defeats to Leeds, Southampton and Dinamo Zagreb.
The Frenchman joined an exclusive club of players to win consecutive Premier League titles in 2017 when he joined Chelsea after previously lifting the trophy with Leicester. He was named PFA, FWA and Premier League player of the year and also helped France win the World Cup 12 months later.
Chelsea’s success in recent years has directly correlated with Kante’s form, with the club also winning the FA Cup in 2018, Europa League in 2019 and Champions League in 2021.
But he missed a substantial chunk of the 2019/20 season when Chelsea won nothing and was limited to only 21 Premier League starts in 2021/22, with the club securing only minor silverware in the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup during the campaign.
Differing combinations of Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic, Conor Gallagher, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and a deeper Mason Mount have been getting the nod in midfield in Kante’s absence.
Chelsea are back in action in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon when they make the short trip across London to face Crystal Palace. That is followed in quick succession by Champions League fixtures home and away against AC Milan, either side of a Premier League meeting with Wolves.