Jamie Carragher has become the latest high profile pundit to question Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri’s decision to use Blues midfielder N’Golo Kante in a more advance role.
France international Kante’s intelligence, tenacity and unparalleled work-rate have seen him establish himself as one of, if not, the best defensive midfielder in the World since moving to the Premier League in 2015.
However, this season new Chelsea manager Sarri has moved Kante into a more advanced role on the right of midfield to accommodate £57 million summer signing Jorginho, who followed the Italian coach to Stamford Bridge from Napoli.
Jorginho has won plenty of plaudits for his passing ability and is seen as essential to implementing his coaches famed Sarri-Ball style of play. Although the Italy international and Chelsea as a team have struggled at times recently when other sides have begun to man mark him.
Kante is still obviously highly-rated at Stamford Bridge having just last week signed a mega-money long term contract, but it has become blatantly obvious that the World Cup winner is having nowhere near the kind of effect on games Premier League fans have become accustomed to since his positional switch.
Carragher explained that he believes that in order to get the best out of both Jorginho and Kante, Sarri should change his midfield formation.
‘Well No 1: Jorginho is not moving from that position. He’s Sarri’s man, he’s built his team around him,’ Carragher said on Sky Sports Monday Night Football.
‘Kante is not moving because he’s signed a massive contract.
‘What I would say is Jorginho has been excellent this season. Teams are having to change their system and style to counter-act Jorginho. So that shows how important he is and how good he has been.
‘So if he’s getting man-marked, as he was, by Dele Alli, [Gylfi] Sigurdsson, Juan Mata., that means there should be space for other players.
‘This is Chelsea. They have big players. The space was in the wide areas [against Spurs], so we want to see more from Eden Hazard, Willian, the full-backs.’
He continued: ‘The one thing about Kante is he is a very average player in this [advanced] position he’s playing now. I see a normal midfielder player.
‘When he plays deeper, I see a world class midfield player.
‘What do you do? For me, I don’t think this balance ever looks right. I think it’s quite simple – whether or not Sarri is stuck on this 4-3-3 all the time.
‘Play them as a midfield two and play Barkley, or Willian in front in more of a 4-2-3-1.’