Frank Lampardsaid that he had only one ‘problem’ withN’Golo Kanteduring his time as Chelsea boss.
Lampard was sacked from his dream role as Chelsea manager in January after working with 2018 World Cup winner Kante for only one-and-a-half seasons.
Since Lampard’s departure, Thomas Tuchel has taken over at Chelsea and reignited Kante’s form, which significantly helped towards the West London Club’s Champions League win in May.
During France’s exciting 2-2 draw with Portugal on Wednesday, the former Chelsea manager said during BBC’s coverage that the midfielder is “incredible.”
Lampard explained: “The problem I found with him more than anything was trying to hold him back in training because every day you train and you let him off the leash in an opposed session he does that, and you have to try to pull him back because he can just put that output into anything he does.”
Lampard went on to explain what he felt to be Kante’s best position as he sometimes placed the French midfielder in more advanced roles within the midfield, which caused debates among pundits and fans.
“When I arrived at Chelsea he’d been off the back of playing so regularly for a few seasons because everyone relies on him so much, he’d had an injury that took him into my first season, we missed him a lot,” he said.
“You seriously miss N’Golo in big games because he’s a big-game player. Nobody will want to play against him because of the attributes he’s got.
“In those big games, finals, tournament football, players like N’Golo are just priceless.”
Kante has already shown his importance at Euro 2020, playing a crucial role in helping France qualify for the last 16 as Group F leaders.
He has often played at the base of midfield and due to his incredible defensive solidity, he has allowed more forward-thinking players such as Paul Pogba to really shine at the tournament.
“The main reason why he’s so good that he’s the best in the world at being a destructor. When I say destructor I’m talking about winning the ball back. To win the ball back with his anticipation, having the speed to get tight and close distances, his main attribute for me is destruction, leaving areas to win balls back,” Lampard said.
“An old-fashioned holding midfield player you’d say would sit in front of the back four, Makelele did it years ago for Chelsea so well.
“But he has so much more to his game. When you see the distances he closes to get in front of people, that acceleration and speed, that is something special to him, it’s very unique.”
Kante’s defensive prowess will only become more important as the tournament develops, especially as France will have to face the likes of Spain, Belgium or Italy to progress to the final.
Lampard acknowledged Kante’s brilliance and said: “He can do multiple jobs at the same time. He makes people around him better, he helps everybody.”
Featured Image Credit: PA