Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel says it’s a “gift” to finally coach N’Golo Kante – a player he was “desperate” to work with in the past.
The former Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain head coach has previously said he tried to sign the French World Cup winner, who has struggled with a number of hamstring injuries in recent seasons.
Tuchel believes he can manage Kante’s workload and says he is fortunate to build his team around the midfielder.
“I think N’Golo fits into any manager’s plans on the planet,” he said.
“I was desperate to have him in my teams in the past. He is a big Chelsea player and one of the best midfielders in the world. So I am so lucky to have him in my squad and that he is back fit again.
“I am very, very impressed. We’ve known him for many years very well because we’ve come from a French club.
“We were very impressed from the television but to see him live, to see how he works, how humble he is, the quality he gives to the team, it’s a gift to be his coach. I am so happy.”
Chelsea head to Burnley in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Thursday night and Tuchel is of the belief he can help the former Leicester midfielder find his best form again.
“I’m absolutely not concerned about his quality: from what I see on the pitch in games and what I see on the pitch at Cobham, it’s everything I expected – and I expected a lot, I can tell you,” Tuchel said.
“I’m a huge fan and I can see the input he has on teams, he makes teams better, he makes guys around him feel comfortable.
“He has the mentality of a water-carrier, but on such a high level.”
Tuchel brushed off any issues about Kante’s consistency at full fitness, putting full faith in his staff – while also being conscious to manage his game time.
“What I see here in possession games, what I see here in acceleration, what I see here in passing ability, is absolutely outstanding, and it’s all combined in such a humble personality. So I am absolutely not concerned.
“I’m absolutely not concerned about any more injuries also because I feel a support of quality medical and physical department on the highest level.
“We can manage his minutes and his workload, and we take care about him in all physical aspects for what he needs.”
Source: Modern Ghana