Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante returned to training this week, in what is a welcomed bit of good news for the Blues. Both The Guardian and the BBC reported that the World Cup winner returned on Thursday, although The Athletic said he trained at Cobham “for the last few days.” Either way, his return to individual training, not with teammates, is a welcomed one.
Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante Returns to Individual Training
Kante’s Fears Calmed
Kante attended Chelsea’s first training session last Tuesday when Premier League clubs returned to non-contact training. But after one session, he asked the club for compassionate leave due to his fears regarding the coronavirus. The club, of course, granted his request and he went back training from home.
It raised concerns whether he would play again this season. If Kante were to miss the final nine games of the year though, it certainly would have put Chelsea at a massive disadvantage in the battle for top four.
But now, the Premier League clubs unanimously voted to begin contact training. Secondly, Kante returned to training this week, exponentially increasing the chances he steps on the pitch when the season restarts.
According to The Guardian, Blues manager Frank Lampard has made a huge impact in getting him back to Cobham for training. “Lampard has been working to calm Kanté’s fears and that approach has had a positive effect,” Jacob Steinberg reported.
Chelsea Return to Top Four Fight
The Premier League announced Thursday it will return from the lengthy coronavirus stoppage on Wednesday 17 June. That night will see two matches, Manchester City hosting Arsenal and Aston Villa at home to Sheffield United, the two games in hand that needed rescheduling due to the Carabao Cup Final in which City beat Villa 2-1 on 1 March.
Following the two midweek games in the league’s soft relaunch, the full slate of fixtures will take place at the weekend. And for Chelsea, that’s a run-in with the Villans. In the reverse fixture in December, the Blues won at Stamford Bridge 2-1 thanks to goals either side of halftime from Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount.
The Blues currently sit fourth on 48 points, only three above Manchester United. With Kante, it would’ve been a challenge to qualify for Europe. Without him, it would’ve made life infinitely harder. Thankfully, Chelsea will most likely have their midfield enforcer back.