N’Golo Kanté has not made an official decision yet about not playing for Chelsea for the remainder of the 2019-20 season, but it looks increasingly unlikely that he will take part in Project Restart.
As reported by ESPN, Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard is planning for football without Kanté for at least the foreseeable future, since even if N’Golo were to put aside his fears and reservations about contact training and playing during the COVID-19 pandemic, he would need several weeks to get up to speed — especially given his recent injury issues. Kanté has been training individually the last couple weeks, sometimes even at Cobham, but he’s not taken part in any group sessions.
The 29-year-old is continuing to hold out over fears of catching the virus and bringing it home, which could have devastating consequences given his and his family’s history of heart problems. A grand total of just 1 individual has tested positive in the last three rounds of Premier League COVID-19 testing, though that one person was a player.
Kanté’s continuing to stay away with the full support of the club, who are apparently placing no pressure on him to reconsider. For now, no one’s acknowledging the harsh reality that this situation will not be able to go on like this forever, however. Kanté looks set to miss the rest of 2019-20, but his status for next season (and beyond) is an even greater mystery.