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Maurizio Sarri spent only one season as Chelsea manager and within a year, he won the Europa League, reached the Carabao Cup final and finished third in the Premier League with the Blues before moving on to Serie A champions Juventus.
Sarri was criticised throughout last season for playing N’Golo Kante out of position. In his 4-3-3 formation, Jorginho was the one who sat deep in midfield, while Kante played on the right side of midfield.
Former assistant coach Gianfranco Zola has explained the two reasons for Sarri’s decision.
“There are two reasons for that,” he told BeIN Sports.
“The main reason is that in the way Sarri plays, the sitting midfielder, the number six, is the player that plays the most balls in the whole team.
“Normally Jorginho, when he was at Napoli and also last year, makes between 140 and 160 touches, sometimes even more. So he wants somebody that confident in getting the ball and playing it, not afraid to play and be influential in the game. That is the first reason.”
Zola also revealed that Kante doesn’t see himself as a sitting midfielder and loves the role he played last season.
“The second reason is that Kante is not a sitting midfielder,” he continued.
“Although he has always played in a midfield two, at Leicester and in his first two years at Chelsea, at Leicester he was playing with Drinkwater, who was the sitting one and Kante was moving around. He was free to go sideways, backwards, whatever he wanted.
“And it was the same at Chelsea when Matic was the sitting one and Kante was doing the same job. We spoke with Kante about this and he was very happy to play the position because he liked the position.”