£30m player could add another two years onto his Chelsea career if he played in a different position - TCC View

There is an art to changing the position of a player.

Get it right and the lucky recipient could add another two or three years to their career.

Chelsea have certainly mastered this particular craft.

Antonio Conte turned Victor Moses from a curious winger into one of the Premier League’s best wing-backs at the time.

On the other flank, Marcos Alonso flourished as a left wing-back, having largely failed to impress as a left-back.

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In that title-winning system, Cesar Azpilicueta dropped deeper into a centre-back role, leaving full-back behind him for a few seasons.

Azpilicueta is perhaps the epitome of the benefits switching jobs can do for a footballer.

Of course, sometimes being multi-functional can have its downsides.

Versatility

A Swiss army penknife player can be their own worst enemy, as the manager struggles to find one system that works best for them.

But on the whole, positional modification tends to work out rather well.

Would Thiago Silva still be playing at the very elite level had Thomas Tuchel not moved him into a back three?

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The same can arguably be said for Alonso and Azpilicueta, or John Terry and Gary Cahill during Conte’s tenure.

With several of his squad now reaching the tail-end of their profession, Tuchel might want to consider shifting around the chess pieces as his predecessor did before him.

One figure that may require a revamp is N’Golo Kante.

Running out of steam

Kante is probably overdue a visit to the workshop.

The past few seasons have not exactly been the Frenchman’s finest, partly because of a stream of different injuries.

This campaign especially the midfielder hasn’t quite exerted the energy supporters are so used to seeing from the effervescent Parisian.

And with the transfer window looming, perhaps the Chelsea chain of command are thinking about finding a fresh model to replace the 31-year-old.

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Aurelien Tchouameni and Declan Rice have been discussed, whilst Conor Gallagher will reportedly re-join the senior side in the summer.

Whilst this shouldn’t signal the end for Kante, it certainly hints toward his eventual departure.

However, there is possibly a way around keeping Kante and also adding another midfielder to the camp.

Is there change on the horizon for Kante?

Why not try the £30m (BBC) man further up the field?

Just imagine how frightened defenders would be to see the 5ft2in machine tearing towards them on the edge of their own box.

Chelsea’s press would be unrivalled with Kante playing next to or just behind the strikers.

Plus, he certainly has an eye for a pass to help feed the forwards in front of him, as demonstrated against Manchester United when his through ball almost assisted Kai Havertz.

With Tchouameni, Rice or Gallagher behind him, Kante wouldn’t have to worry as much about covering every blade of grass.

This could be huge for his fitness and greater availability across the entire term.

It’s just a thought, Thomas, take it or leave it.

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Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.