N’Golo Kante reveals why he snubbed Thomas Tuchel and PSG transfer


Thomas Tuchel revealed he ‘fought’ to sign N’Golo Kante for PSG (Picture: Getty)

The thought of signing for Paris Saint-Germain and teaming up with Thomas Tuchel never crossed N’Golo Kante’s mind, so contended was he with life at Chelsea, the France international has revealed.

After succeeding Frank Lampard in the Stamford Bridge hotseat, Tuchel made a point of stressing his delight at finally getting to work with a player he had admired from afar, one he had ‘fought’ to sign during his time in charge of the Ligue 1 champions.

Kante had been a mainstay of Chelsea’s midfield under three different managers before Tuchel’s arrival, but was unsettled during Maurizio Sarri’s reign when the Italian attempted to reinvent the player in a more attacking role.

Despite struggling to get to grips with the tactical demands of the former Napoli coach, Kante insists he never thought about leaving Chelsea amid PSG’s interest.

He said: ‘I knew in the past there was some contact with Paris Saint-Germain when he was the manager, but it was not something I wanted. It did not happen because I was happy at Chelsea and I stayed here. I haven’t spoken to the manager about it!’

N’Golo Kante was man of the match in Chelsea’s 0-0 draw with Man Utd last Sunday (Picture: Getty)

Despite his admiration for the World Cup winner, Tuchel has used Kante, in part due to his ongoing fitness struggles, sparingly during the early stages of his reign.

Kante has, however, started three of Chelsea’s last five matches in all competitions, thriving in the ‘double six’ role alongside the likes of Jorginho or Mateo Kovacic.

‘It’s a position I have played many times, here, at Leicester and in the national team,’ Kante said when asked if Tuchel was using him in his best role.

‘It’s not only the best way for me to play but for the team. It is good for me to play with someone who stays when I go forward, or I stay when he goes forward.’

On overcoming his injury problems, he added: ‘When you play constantly, many games in a row, you think it’s normal. When injury comes, you play two weeks, and then you get injured, it’s not the best. You don’t feel like you are giving the best to the club or your team-mates. You can learn from these times to appreciate more the time you are fit, when you can play and train with your team-mates.

‘When I have been injured it’s a period of reflection of what you can do better. I realise now it’s better to take more time to recover. I speak with the medical staff to get the best out of me for the team. This is something I have learned.

‘I am happy now to feel good. We have played so many games in a short time, so injury can come back, but we try to prevent more injuries. I have learned when you are not ready, take more time because that will help the team more.’


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