The defensive midfield ace is set to leave Chelsea this summer
One of the early transfers under Mauricio Pochettino appears to be an exit deal, according to a report from Football.London, with N’Golo Kante reportedly Reached an agreement to join the Saudi Arabian club Ittihad (Al Ittihad). Initially, it appeared Kante would sign a new contract at Stamford Bridge under Pochettino’s management.
However, the two sides could not come to an agreement, paving the way for a remarkable offer from the Saudi Arabian champions. The midfielder has now signed a two-year contract with the possibility of a further season and will earn a staggering €100m (£86m) per season.
Kante’s injury-plagued Chelsea campaign
Kante has endured a difficult campaign for the west London club as he has struggled to maintain a consistent form for them in the center of the park after being injured for most of the season. The 32-year-old has made nine appearances for Chelsea in all competitions this season but has been underwhelming, registering just one assist.
In the Premier League, the French star deserves credit for averaging 2.3 tackles, 0.9 interceptions, 0.3 clearances, 1.1 shots, 1.9 key passes and 1.7 dribbles per 90 minutes. In top-flight football, his ball distribution is even organized after he completes 82.5% of his pass attempts (stats from whoscored).
How will Chelsea fill the void?
Strengthening midfield appears to be a key goal for Chelsea this summer, making the departure of N’Golo Kante a major setback. However, it is important to consider the backdrop of Kante missing most of the 2022/23 season through injury, which lessens the disappointment of his departure.
The Blues are therefore likely to face the upcoming campaign without their influential midfield maestro after Kante successfully completed his medical with the Etihad in London earlier this afternoon. The development underscores the club’s need to find a suitable replacement to fill the void left by Kante’s absence.
Kante continued to demonstrate his prowess as a reliable ball-handler, quickly identifying potential threats and winning possession back for his side in midfield. He challenges opponents fearlessly and has the vision to execute impactful passes in the attacking zone. Additionally, Kanter showcased the power and precision of his long-range shots, underscoring his shooting prowess. Additionally, he’s shown a flair off the dribble that makes him a versatile ball-handling player.
Enzo Fernandes has promising midfield talent in the current squad who can step up and contribute to filling the void left by Kante, but even the Argentine cannot solve the defensive problems. The Blues need to find a better Kanter replacement to bridge the gap between offense and defense.