Tuchel admits Chelsea’s ‘unique’ player struggles to stay consistent

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Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has admitted N’Golo Kante hasn’t been as consistent as he has been in previous seasons but remains a key player for the team.

The 31-year-old has been at Chelsea since 2016 and Wednesday was perhaps the first time he was subbed off at half-time for tactical reasons.

The energetic midfielder, who won the Man of the Match award twice in a row in both semi-final matches against Real Madrid just a year ago, has actually struggled against the same opponents .

Tuchel believes there is no single cause for the midfielder’s declining performance.

Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

James is officially returning to HITC!

“Honestly, I can’t answer the question,” the German said at Friday’s press conference when asked about Kante’s inconsistent performances recently.

“One thing is very clear is that N’Golo is a key player because he has exceptional and unique qualities.

“N’Golo is a unique player who can give something that no one else can give to the team.

“He’s struggled this season with consistency due to injury, illness – and that’s also part of the reason for our inconsistency [as a team]. We lost it for so many matches.

Photo by Chloe Knott – Danehouse/Getty Images

“At the moment he is fasting due to his religious belief, so maybe [it is] another reason.

“He’s not doing it for the first time, but if you don’t eat and drink during the day, it can have an effect.

“That maybe partly explains why we felt he’s not at his best if you compare him to the influence he had in the last campaign against Real Madrid.”

Obviously, any team would suffer if a player of Kante’s caliber couldn’t perform as expected.

As a player who relies heavily on his physical attributes and seemingly limitless energy, the France international may have felt the effects of aging more than others.

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A Chelsea fan who loves football stats. Studied sports journalism at the University of Sunderland.

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