It is said of him that he always has a smile but this time N’Golo Kanté has enough to make his head. Clouds are gathering above him. Victim once again of a muscle glitchhe injured his thigh late in the game against Tottenham (2-2) last weekend. Result of the exams taken in stride: 1 month off. He risks missing the next six league matches as well as the first two matches of the Champions League group stage. And not sure that he is sufficiently recovered for the international break during the second half of September, the last before the World Cup.
The midfielder has been hampered by injuries of all kinds for a while now. Last season already, he had missed 16 meetings with Chelsea (including 3 because of the covid or being in contact), in addition to a knee problem in the France team last June, forcing him to withdraw for the rest of the rally. Back in the club this summer, Kanté this time had to give up the American tour for not having received two doses of vaccine, a mandatory condition for entering US soil. He continued to train on his side, but he inevitably took a certain physical and sporting delay on the rest of his teammates.
Repeated injuries and one of the biggest salaries at the club
When he is in good shape, the great architect of victory in the Champions League 2021 is essential. But the years go by and the 31-year-old midfielder is starting to feel the weight of time passing. Already during the victorious C1 campaign, Thomas Tuchel, then inducted Chelsea coach for only a few weeks, had taken his precautions, aware of the greater fragility of the player. The problems still exist and this is starting to make the Blues management think. This does not call into question the quality of the world champion but it is not blind either. N’Golo Kanté supports less the sequence of competitions.
This is where another sensitive subject at Chelsea comes in, the contractual situation of the Rueillois. The English club are already in a delicate situation with him as he enters his last year and there is still no question of an extension. According to The Telegraph, the management would like to extend the lease of its player but not under the current conditions. Kanté receives one of the highest salaries, earning £300,000 a week (just under €18m a year). She has already found some solutions to remedy this somewhat thorny situation, it must be said.
Kanté at the end of the contract in 2023
The new owners are currently trying to impose a new salary scale, granting significant bonuses to players who have played at least 60% of the matches during the season. Other bonuses will be distributed according to the sporting objectives achieved, such as finishing in the top 4 in the Premier League, which would secure a place in the Champions League. Would Kanté accept this new system, knowing that he was also “threatened” by Tuchel’s desire to blow him away? To remedy or prevent his physical problems, Chelsea have decided to keep young Conor Gallagher (22).
Loaned with some success to Crystal Palace last season, the midfielder has become an English international (4 caps). Under contract until 2025, he is preparing to live his first full season in the professional workforce of his training club. His role was to be that of a rotation player, able to take over the time to rest a holder but now he is already propelled to the front of the stage. In the absence of Kovacic, it was he who replaced the Frenchman last Sunday at Stamford Bridge and it may well last a full month. What may be mortgaging the future of Kanté at Chelsea …