Maurizio Sarri has come and gone at Chelsea but the talks about why and how he played N’Golo Kante ‘out of position’ in the 2018/19 season will never end.
The Italian opted to play Kante, who is regarded as the world’s best defensive midfielder, as a #8 last season. Fans and Pundits felt it was wrong but Sarri stuck with his decision and did not change his role.
Gianfranco Zola was a pundit on beIN Sports’ pre-match show ahead of Manchester United vs Chelsea and he has explained the decision. Sarri’s former assist coach revealed that Kante has never played alone as a CDM in the league and the manager wanted Jorginho to be the one to play that #6 role.
Zola explained: “There are two reasons for that. 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.”
“The second reason is that Kante is not a sitting midfielder. 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.”
Watch the video below: