The full extent of N’Golo Kanté’s injury will not be known until tomorrow at the earliest, but head coach Maurizio Sarri expects to be without his most consistent, and arguably most important (even if he might disagree) player for the rest of this week and the last two matches left on the fixture list.
Kanté, who’s second on Chelsea in non-goalkeeper minutes played after César Azpilicueta, was making is sixth start in a row in all competitions over the past three weeks.
“We must wait for tomorrow but I think it’s difficult to recover him for the last two matches, but we want to play the final so we will try to recover him for that.”
If Chelsea beat Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday, we advance to the Europa League final, which won’t be played for another three weeks from now. That might give just enough time to get Kanté fit again.
Hamstring and other such injuries are often a result of overexertion, and unfortunately it turns out Kanté is just as human in that regard as others. Sarri admitted that ideally, Kanté should’ve been rested in this game, but he could not afford to do that with a top-four finish on the line. He decided to take the risk — unlike with Hazard on Thursday, incidentally.
“Problem is with his hamstring. I think I made a mistake because probably today he had to rest. Sometimes its difficult to put him on the bench, a player so important like Hazard and Kanté but you have to do it. Otherwise you risk and I have to say I made a mistake.”
-Maurizi Sarri; source: Football.London
Chelsea are nearly home and clear in third, and are just 90 minutes away from the Europa League final, so hopefully we can accomplish those aims without Kanté. If he’s back for a potential finals appearance, we just might have a good chance of finishing the season with a trophy, even!