Chelsea boss Frank Lampard hails N’Golo Kante as more than the best defensive midfielder in world

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard hails N’Golo Kante as more than just the best defensive midfielder in the world: ‘I don’t think that’s the full story’

  • N’Golo Kante is set to start for Chelsea against Crystal Palace on Saturday 
  • It will be the ever-reliable Frenchman’s first appearance since early October 
  • Frank Lampard claims Kante is much more than just a defensive midfielder  
  • On Friday, Lampard claimed the Manager of the Month award for October 

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard says it is wrong to bracket N’Golo Kante as the best defensive midfielder in the world, because he is so much more than that.

Kante is set to start against Crystal Palace in Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off with Jorginho suspended, and it will be the Frenchman’s first appearance since early October.

Lampard spoke highly of the 28-year-old on Friday, saying: ‘People talk about him very casually as the best defensive midfielder in the world but I don’t think that’s the full story.

N’Golo Kante is set to start for Chelsea vs Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Saturday

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has been singing the praises of the ever-reliable Frenchman

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has been singing the praises of the ever-reliable Frenchman 

‘I am not criticising him, it is actually the opposite. There’s much more to his game than that. I don’t even think at Leicester you could bracket him in that way.

‘They had a distinctive way of playing. He suited it, he had energy, he could get around everywhere.

‘A defensive midfielder in my mind is someone who sits in front of the back four or back three but I think he has got much more than that. He can give you more.’

On whether Kante can fill in for the banned Jorginho, who has started every Premier League game under Lampard, the boss added: ‘It depends how we set up as a team.

Saturday's clash at Stamford Bridge will be Kante's first appearance since early October

Saturday’s clash at Stamford Bridge will be Kante’s first appearance since early October

‘They have different qualities. It is quite clear to see. We will set up the midfield as it is not just a like-for-like with those two. There’s other players and it will be how we set up as a unit rather than the individual as the replacement.’

Ross Barkley will not be in the squad for the visit of Palace but Mason Mount is expected to be included, having overcome an ankle issue.

On winning the Manager of the Month award for October, following wins over Southampton, Newcastle and Burnley, Lampard added: ‘It is a good time to thank people at this club.

‘They help me daily. I may take the picture but there are people behind the scenes, particularly my close staff who put in the hours that we do, and the players who perform. So thanks to them.’

Mason Mount is expected to be included against Palace after overcoming an ankle injury

Mason Mount is expected to be included against Palace after overcoming an ankle injury

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