Chelsea feel Leicester's pain in search for N'Golo Kante's replacement
Reports this week emerged that Paris Saint-Germain’s main summer target N’Golo Kante is leaning towards rejecting PSG in favour of staying in London. It’s reported that the 27-year-old is happy with life in West London, even with the Blues set to miss out on Champions League qualification. However, we’ve heard all this before, not just from other players but from the Frenchman himself. When at Leicester City, Kante insisted he was happy with the Foxes before shockingly moving to Stamford Bridge. So, it’s only a matter of time before the 27-year-old once again moves on to greener pastures.
Here are three replacements for N’Golo Kante at Chelsea.
How about we start off with a good old-fashioned in-house replacement? It’s no secret that David Luiz and Antonio Conte have had their issues this season. It’s believed that the Brazilian questioned his Italian manager’s tactics after losing 3-0 at the Stadio Olimpico. Since then, Luiz’s inclusions in the starting XI have been sporadic at best. The Brazilian has only started nine games in the Premier League this season, despite being fit. It’s a travesty that this could happen in a World Cup year, but alas, the times may be changing in West London.
As we found out in the Rafael Benitez era, David Luiz excels as a defensive midfielder. The 31-year-old is an exceptional ball carrier, he has a great pass selection, he’s strong in tackles and quick at spotting danger. Luiz is often described as an ‘erratic genius’ but under a new manager in a new position, Luiz could revitalise his Chelsea career.
The AS Monaco holding midfielder has been wanting to leave France for back to back transfer windows now. He’s a man that’s been chased down by Manchester United as he’s one of the best in his position worldwide. At just over six feet tall, Fabinho is a towering sight in midfield. The move makes more sense when you consider that the Brazilian would be reuniting with his former midfield partner, Tiemoue Bakayoko.
At Monaco, the duo formed an indestructible pairing that was hard to break down and almost impossible to stop going forward. Why not recreate that dominance at Stamford Bridge? At just 24-years-old, Fabinho is the perfect long-term replacement for N’Golo Kante. On top of that, he has more of a physical presence than the Frenchman, making him the perfect fit for the Premier League.
As we have witnessed in the Champions League semi-final second leg, Radja Nainggolan is much more than a defensive midfielder. He’s a player that has the energetic work rate of Kante, the pass selection of Cesc Fabregas and tactical nous of Danny Drinkwater. There aren’t many who can bring what the Belgian brings to a football pitch. But also witnessed in that match was that his passion can sometimes get the better of him, thus clouding his judgement.
However, when focused and concentrating, Nainggolan is an unstoppable force. The 29-year-old is an excellent passer, tough tackler, good at winning aerial duels and surprisingly astute in his positioning. As well as working his socks off in defence, the Belgian has directly contributed to 17 goals this season.
Radja Nainggolan has all the traits to thrive in the Premier League, especially at a counter-attacking outfit like Chelsea.