‘The focus is to help him get fit’: Graham Potter insists N’Golo Kante’s injury will not affect talks over his new contract, with the midfielder’s deal in the summer… because the Frenchman will miss the World Cup along with Chelsea teammate Reece James
- N’Golo Kante’s sidelined for four months after surgery
- Kante’s contract expires at the end of the season and he will miss the World Cup
- Graham Potter has insisted the midfielder’s injury will not affect contract talks
- Chelsea team-mate and England star Reece James will likely miss the tournament too
Graham Potter has insisted N’Golo Kante’s four-month injury will not affect new contract talks with Chelsea.
Kante’s latest hamstring problem requires surgery, removing France’s talisman from Qatar’s World Cup.
The World Cup-winning midfielder’s contract at Stamford Bridge expires next summer, and a string of hamstring and knee problems have plagued his last three years in West London.
Graham Potter insisted N’Golo Kante’s injury will not affect new contract talks with Chelsea.
Kante’s contract with the Blues expires next summer and he has yet to sign a new one
Chelsea would be looking for new midfield recruits in January and summer, but manager Potter insisted the Blues’ sole focus now is to help Kante recover from his latest setback.
Asked if Kante’s injury could affect his contract situation, Potter replied: “No, the most important thing for us and for me is that we help him get fit. That’s the focus.
“He still has a long way to go, so we need to make sure we get the right plan and recovery for him.
“And when he’s playing football, we can think about that.”
The 31-year-old sustained the injury in Chelsea’s 2-2 draw with Tottenham on August 14
Chelsea confirmed in a statement that the Frenchman will miss four months after his surgery
England star Reece James is also likely to miss the World Cup after a knee ligament problem.
Potter admitted there’s little he can do to soften the blow to both Kante and James, instead focusing on helping both stars attack their rehab.
“The reality is I have nothing to say that will make it better for them,” Potter said.
“We just have to focus on the things you can control, your rehabilitation, from day to day. Then it will be better and then you can continue.’
Chelsea host Manchester United into the Premier League on Saturday, with Trevoh Chalobah itching to extend his already impressive Blues record.
The 23-year-old centre-back has never lost starting a game for Chelsea – a record that has now been stretched to 30 games.
An Academy graduate, Chalobah has fought hard for his chances in West London, always battling it out with more experienced and prominent rivals.
The French midfielder has also been banned from the World Cup due to the injury
Chelsea star Reece James also likely to miss the World Cup after a knee injury
New boss Potter admitted he was hugely impressed with Chalobah and his “soldier” attributes to produce both quality and quantity for Chelsea.
“I’ve been very impressed from day one, I must say,” Potter said.
“Because he wasn’t in the team the first few games, but he acted perfectly, trained very well, very professional, very determined, very impressive character.
“He’s very focused on his football, wants to play, wants to help the team, wants Chelsea to win.
“So he’s great in that regard, and he’s a bit of a soldier, he’s played all the games.
“We’ve had some problems with the availability of players, but he stood there, stood up for us and played at a really good level.”
Asked if the uncapped Chalobah would deserve a call-up to England, Potter added: “I’m not surprised he gets that link, but luckily that’s not my problem, someone else’s.
“He plays for us every week, and again, that’s a decision Gareth has to make, not me.”