Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri has been quite stubborn in his belief that Jorginho should sit at the base of Chelsea’s midfield but Martin Keown has urged the Italian to take a cue from Pep Guardiola at Manchester City who play Fernandinho at the base of City’s midfield.
According to Keown, Guardiola would play Kante at the base of City’s midfield if the midfielder is a Manchester City player.
“Maurizio Sarri has been quite stubborn in his belief that Jorginho should sit at the base of Chelsea’s midfield,” Keown told Daily Mail.
“With Manchester City visiting Stamford Bridge this evening, now is the time for Sarri to spring a surprise and play N’Golo Kante in that role. Both teams play different variations of the 4-3-3 system.
“While Pep Guardiola’s deep-lying midfielder is Fernandinho — the smiling assassin who snuffs out danger — Sarri wants creativity in that position. It means that Kante is stuck in an unfamiliar role on the right of midfield. Sarri wants Kante’s energy higher up the pitch but it does not suit him.
“I feel a bit sorry for him. This is a player who arrived at Leicester and transformed them into Premier League champions. Twelve months later, he went to Chelsea and did exactly the same. He returned from Russia last summer with a World Cup winner’s medal.
“Sarri has gone to Chelsea and deployed him in a role occupied by the likes of David Silva and Bernardo Silva at City. Were Kante a City player, Guardiola would be deploying him in Fernandinho’s position — not ahead of his creative geniuses.
“The problem Chelsea have found in recent weeks is that when Jorginho is put under sustained pressure, it stops the team playing.
“That is what happened when these sides met in the Community Shield in August and Guardiola will have a plan in place to press the midfielder on Saturday.
“Watch Son Heung-min’s superb solo goal for Tottenham against Chelsea at Wembley and the way he races past Jorginho. There is no way that Kante would be beaten in that situation.
“City are the clear favourites going into this game. If Sarri wants to beat them, he needs to play Kante in the position where we know he thrives.”