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Tuchel on Kante | "I was desperate to have him in my team"


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Any doubts surrounding N'Golo Kante's future with Chelsea have been brushed aside by club head coach Thomas Tuchel.

The German confirmed in a pre-match press conference that the French World Cup winner will be in the starting team to face Barnsley in the FA Cup fifth-round on Thursday, his first start under his new boss.

Kante was an unused sub in the Premier League win against Burnley at the end of last month, having missed the previous two games with a hamstring injury, and despite only playing as a sub in the last two matches he is highly valued by Tuchel.

"I think N'Golo fits into every manager's plans on the planet," Tuchel said ahead of the Blues' trip to Oakwell.

"I was desperate to have him in my team. He's a Chelsea player, a big Chelsea player and one of the best midfielders in the world.

"I'm so lucky to have him in my squad and I'm so lucky he's back again. When you look at his performance after injury against Tottenham, he just did what he always does - helps everybody on the pitch with his support, his mentality and his quality.

"If you see the step he took between the Tottenham match and the 20 minutes against Sheffield, it was huge."

premier league Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel on the touchline during the Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, London. Picture date: Wednesday January 27, 2021.

Kante was snapped up by Chelsea after he played a key role in Leicester City's famous 2015/16 Premier League title win.

Tuchel was keen to sign him when he was in charge at Paris Saint-Germain and he is delighted to finally see the player that he coveted so much, in the flesh.

"I'm very, very impressed. I've known him for many years because we both came from French clubs," he added.

"To see him on TV and to now see him live, to see how he works, how humble he is and the quality he gives to this team here, it's a gift to be his coach and I'm super happy.

"He will start tomorrow. He's an outstanding player who we absolutely need in a strong squad and a big club like Chelsea."

Meanwhile, it was announced today that the away leg of Chelsea's Champions League last-16 tie with Atletico Madrid will be played in Bucharest.

UEFA has confirmed the first leg on February 23rd has been switched from Spain to Romania because of coronavirus restrictions.


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Chelsea Ngolo Kante Paris Saint Germain Premier League Thomas Tuchel

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