Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel believes it is nothing short of a miracle that they are third despite missing Ngolo Kante for most of the season. He returned to the starting line-up for their 1-1 draw with Leicester in the penultimate game of the Premier League. Kante missed the last four games once again due to injury. His contract with the club expires next season with his future in serious doubt.
“I think he is our key, key, key player. But the key, key, key players need to be on the pitch and he has played only 40 percent of the games, so it is maybe a miracle that we arrive in third place,” Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel said about Ngolo Kante. “He is our Mo Salah, he is our Van Dijk, he is our De Bruyne, he is our Neymar, he is our Kylian Mbappe. He is simply that player, the guy who makes the difference and if you only have him 40 percent of the time it’s a huge problem. Given that percentage, it’s maybe a miracle how consistently we produced results and it puts everything into perspective because I saw Liverpool last season without Van Dijk and they struggled heavily.”
“I think he played OK tonight but he can play so much better. But when was the last game that he started? It was weeks ago,” he added. “He constantly starts getting the rhythm, and once he has rhythm, comes a little injury and he’s out again. Last year, in the Champions League, they handed him the trophy before the match. It was clear he would be the man of the match. And this guy who gets man of the match in every Champions League game is only here for 40 percent of the matches and that’s huge for us.”