Chelsea’s top-four hopes, as well as N’Golo Kante’s future at Stamford Bridge, have been debated.
The Blues are only three points ahead of Manchester United in fourth place, even though the Red Devils have played twice as many games in the Premier League this season.
Last week’s Carabao Cup final saw Thomas Tuchel’s side lose 11-10 on penalties to Liverpool, but they bounced back on Wednesday evening with a 3-2 victory over Luton Town in the FA Cup fifth round.
The west Londoners face relegation-threatened Burnley at Turf Moor on Saturday afternoon, and Kante has stated that his team is entirely focused on securing a spot in next season’s UEFA Champions League.
“We are in a strong position for the top four,” he told Sky Sports. “We are fully focused on playing game by game and securing the top four.”
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel may have to make a difficult decision on N’Golo Kante’s future this season.
Despite being a vital player at Stamford Bridge since his 2016 transfer from Leicester City, the Frenchman’s contract is about to expire.
He has a year and a half left on his current contract, and with the player scheduled to turn 31 later this season, Chelsea may be hesitant to sign him to a long-term agreement.
Meanwhile, Kante appears to have a slew of suitors, with Real Madrid previously connected with a move for his talents.
Of course, it remains to be seen whether Chelsea would be willing to transfer the World Cup winner anytime soon, but it looks that if they do, they have already found his obvious replacement.
For a long time, the Blues have been associated with Monaco teenager Aurelien Tchouameni, with whispers of a move to Stamford Bridge circulating since last summer.
He was named in the same breath as Saul Niguez as potential midfield additions, with Chelsea ultimately opting to take the latter on loan from Atletico Madrid.
However, rumors of Chelsea’s interest in Tchouameni have persisted. According to team TALK, the Blues are already putting the finishing touches on a contract to bring him to Stamford Bridge next summer.
If such is the case, the Blues will have a player of significant talent.
Tchouameni, according to WhoScored, is already exceeding Kante in the areas for which he is known: defense.
This season, the Monaco superstar averages 2.5 tackles, 2.2 interceptions, and 0.9 clearances per game, whereas Kante’s figures are merely 1.7, 0.6, and 0.4, respectively, despite a season marred by injuries.
Tchouameni is excellent not only in his defensive play but also in his all-around skill.
He is averaging more shots per game (1.9 vs. 0.3) and has a higher pass success percentage (87.4 percent vs. 85.6 percent) than Kante.
It’s no surprise that the 21-year-old has modeled his game after N’Golo Kante and Paul Pogba of Manchester United.
Of course, Chelsea will only realize the true extent of Tchouameni’s influence if they decide to sign him, but it will be comforting to know that they have already identified a player capable of filling the void left by N’Golo Kante should he leave at any point in the future.