Ben Jacobs has suggested that N’Golo Kante is still adored by those closely tied to Chelsea, even if they feel his journey is coming to an end.
Speaking to the ChelseaFC365 podcast, Jacobs explained that the midfield has many admirers at the club, although the same people think his career is in decline.
It’s fair to say Kante has endured a downwards spiral in the past few seasons, primarily because of injury.
Trips to the treatment room have become an all too regular occurrence for the 31-year-old.
Fans have not witnessed the Frenchman’s full form since arguably the latter stages of the 2020/21 Champions League.
He was a formidable force as Chelsea climbed through the rounds and eventually won the final against Manchester City.
It feels a life-time ago since Kante claimed the man of the match awards in both semi-finals and the showpiece events.
N’Golo Kante at a crossroads with Chelsea
Aside from a few patches of form and glimpses of quality, it’s been stop start for the double Premier League winner.
His absence from meaningful action has coincided with the potential permanent pausing on his tenure at Chelsea.
Kante’s contract expires in the summer, and there has been significant suggestions he could part ways with the Blues.
According to Jacobs, however, is not the intention of the player himself.
“Kante doesn’t want to leave by the way, he just wants terms that match his desires. Chelsea are trying to cut the wage bill, and he’s one of the older players,” explained the highly-regarded journalist.
“I think they see Kante playing less and less. But everyone at Chelsea loves Kante, including the fan base.”
Kante is still cared for at Chelsea
You’d be hard pressed to find someone within the walls of Cobham that doesn’t have a soft spot for Kante.
Locating an individual who also believes the France international is beyond his peak wouldn’t be too difficult either.
He’s played just twice all term, and there hasn’t yet been any indication of when he might return from his hamstring problem.
Unless he makes a miraculous recovery, the days of Kante in cruise control are behind us.
Graham Potter will likely require a replacement for the former intercepting machine, either immediately or in the very near future.