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N'Golo Kanté vs. Werder Bremen: Chelsea's three-man midfield setup passes another test

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N'Golo Kanté's second preseason appearance may not have been as overtly impressive as his first — mostly because those long raking passes were largely absent — but the summer signing still brought a sense of stability and solidity to the midfield that we have not felt in well over a year. There's most certainly a disturbance in the force, and his name is N'Golo Kanté.

It wasn't perfect of course. Two moments stand out for me, only one of which is in the highlights package: the mis-hit pass for Willian which was intercepted in Chelsea's half and turned into a dangerous attack. But that's just a bit of bad luck. More annoying was a passage of play where he was ball-watching as Werder passed their way through the Chelsea middle (he said pointing specifically to a time stamp he didn't bother looking up) — those are the sorts of things he's meant to help the team cut out. But those are isolated incidents, and for most of the game Kanté, while not perfect, was exactly what the doctor ordered.

Granted, those tweets are before the game, but it's my baseline expectation for the season from the man in the middle.