The Blues boss highlighted how Kante can make the difference after the club’s five-match winning run ended over the weekend.
N’Golo Kante’s ability to reclaim possession must be used to greater effect by Chelsea’s attackers, says Thomas Tuchel, who believes he is ‘lucky’ to have the Frenchman at his disposal.
Kante made his first Premier League start in over a month in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Southampton following a hamstring injury. The midfielder was one of the better players on the South Coast. As per WhoScored, he made a club-best seven tackles and five interceptions.
N’Golo Kanté won the ball 12 times in the midfield third against Southampton.
No player has won the ball more in midfield in a Premier League game this season. Still the master. pic.twitter.com/Ik7yTxtCK2
— LDN (@LDNFootbalI) February 21, 2021
But as impressive as Kante’s performance was at St Mary’s, a Mason Mount penalty was needed to spare Chelsea of defeat.
Despite dominating possession, the Blues struggled to create chances from open play and made just three shots on target. Therefore, Tuchel has called for better and faster actions from his forwards every time Kante reclaims possession.
“I have known N’Golo Kante for years, and now I am a lucky coach who has him as a player,” said the Chelsea manager in a post-match conference as per Goal. “He steals every ball that is around 10 meters near him.
“Even then, we need to use these ball wins from N’Golo and use them better to attack the space behind the last line better. We need to use our speed better to create more chances. There are a lot of possibilities in the last matches.
“We need to understand, and it is a process that we may need the last few links to gain the confidence to create and score more. Because it is also not enough to score from just half chances.”
Chelsea will next face Atletico Madrid in the opening leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Tuesday night.