Manager confirms second Chelsea player facing fitness issues on international duty

Didier Deschamps confirmed that Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante was among the France players exempt from training on Sunday due to fitness problems.

Kante played the full 90 minutes in France’s 2-1 UEFA Nations League defeat to Denmark on Friday and did not show any indications of an injury.

Due to France having to play four matches in less than two weeks, however, Deschamps understandably refused to take risks.

Several key players, such as Kante, Kylian Mbappe, Karim Benzema, Kingsley Coman, and reported Chelsea target Jules Kounde, were absent from Sunday’s training, the manager confirmed during his press conference.

Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

On a more positive note, unlike Raphael Varane, at least Kante has not been forced to withdraw from the national team, which suggests that it is a relatively minor problem.

But Kante is not the only Chelsea player struggling with fitness.

Earlier, Belgium boss Roberto Martinez said that Lukaku potentially picked up a serious ankle injury during Belgium’s big defeat to the Netherlands.

Photo by Nico Vereecken / Photo News via Getty Images

“It doesn’t look good,” the former Everton manager said about Lukaku’s injury after the game (via HLN).

“He twisted his ankle. We have to wait 48 hours for the MRI scan, but I would be surprised if he is still in action in the coming games. That is my feeling.”

Lukaku, and other Chelsea players on international duty, will have plenty of time to recover before reporting back to the club for pre-season on 2 July.

Thomas Tuchel’s men will also spend a couple of weeks in the United States as part of their pre-season.

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Gerry is a Chelsea supporter who has more than five years of experience in online publishing. He started out writing for Chelsea fan blogs during his high school years, before writing for several local sport news outlets. After graduating in NCTJ-accredited sports journalism MA at the University of Sunderland, he has worked as a freelance writer for The Chelsea Chronicle since 2020. He is a big fan of football statistics and strongly believes that sooner or later, the xG Gods always catch up. He is also a proud member of Michael Ballack fan club.