Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri has used N’Golo Kante further forward this season and the midfielder admits he is enjoying his new role under Sarri.
Sarri has been criticised for not using Kante as a defensive midfielder but the France international has spoken of the pleasure he is taking from his new role under Sarri after scoring Chelsea’s only goal in Saturday’s 1-0 win at Crystal Palace.
Kante is seen by many as the best defensive midfielder in the world and it was from that position that he helped Leicester City and Chelsea win Premier League titles and also helped France become World Champions but Sarri pushed him further forward to accommodate summer signing Jorginho as Chelsea’s deepest midfielder, a decision that has divided opinion.
While many might not be happy with Sarri’s decision to play Kante further forward, Kante’s goal against Crystal Palace was his third goal of the season and it was the first time Kante had scored three league goals in the season.
Kante told Chelsea’s official website: “(This role) is something I am enjoying and in a game I try to make that run sometimes.
“David (Luiz) gave me a good ball and I am happy to score with my left foot and give something to the team.
“Crystal Palace had a great game defensively, but we kept the pressure on, kept the ball and were happy to score in the second half. It was very difficult at the end of the game but we were able to fight and get the win.”
Chelsea defender David Luiz provided the assist for Kante’s goal.
Following the win, Luiz told Sky Sports: “It is never easy to play here or control it here especially when they play long balls but we did well.
“We could have scored early but they also did a great match defensively which is why it was so difficult.
“[The goal was about] the connection, about training every day and understanding the philosophy.
“I just tried to put the ball in and time it for his run.”
Meanwhile, former Arsenal striker Ian Wright believes Kante was more dangerous than Willian against Crystal Palace.
“Willian was not the danger,” said Wright. “You have to see that Kante is the danger.
“We all know that David Luiz with that kind of ball, with that kind of time, is going to hurt you.”
Martin Keown believes Crystal Palace lost against Chelsea simply because of the pass from Luiz and the run of Kante.
“It’s what cost them the game,” said Keown. “Kante wants to run into that area and David Luiz has the ability to pick him out.”