Olivier Giroud has given his backing to N’Golo Kante amidst the scrutiny regarding Maurizio Sarri’s decision to play the Chelsea midfielder in the right of a midfield three.
Kante, who won Premier League titles with Leicester and Chelsea as well as the World Cup with France while playing as an enforcer in front of the defence, has been shifted into a more advanced role in the right side of midfield under Maurizio Sarri. In his new role, the 27-year-old midfielder is expected to play an orthodox box-to-box role that would see him link up play in offence while also providing cover alongside Jorginho in defence.
While there is no question about his industry in covering ground across the midfield, the media has been quick to offer criticism regarding Sarri’s positioning of Kante, with many believing that the 27-year-old midfielder is being wasted playing in a new role instead of his familiar position as a defensive midfielder protecting the backline – a role in which Kante is at least a class above the rest.
While media outlets scrutinised Sarri’s decision, the Blues head coach went on to offer some criticism himself regarding Kante, this time concerning the midfielder’s performance in that No7 role in the recent defeat against Tottenham Hotspur, saying the former Leicester midfielder can still improve his positioning during particular circumstances in a match.
Such view by the manager seemingly conveys the message that he intends to continue with the use of Kante in the right-sided midfield position and Blues forward Giroud has expressed his agreement with the Chelsea boss by recently offering his support for his club and international teammate. Giroud believes while Kante’s best position is at defensive midfield, the midfielder is versatile enough to play across the middle in Sarri’s system.
“I think N’Golo can play every single position in midfield,” the Blues striker said. “Jorginho or Cesc are the holding midfielders and they are playing a very important part in our game, so maybe in the manager’s mind N’Golo is more efficient playing box to box.
“He can be more efficient carrying the ball and finding passes between the lines. We know how fast he is, so when he recovers the ball he can perforate the lines, that’s one of his main strengths.
“It’s a good position for him. Maybe he needs to be more selfish around the box, when he has the opportunity to shoot. I am pretty sure he will score more goals.
“We don’t need to question his position; we need to adapt to what the manager wants.”