'Giving the ball away a lot': TalkSPORT pundit says £30m Chelsea player hasn't looked himself recently

Darren Bent has suggested that Chelsea star N’Golo Kante hasn’t quite looked himself in some recent performances.

Kante, who’s commonly regarded as one of the world’s elite midfielders, has had a turbulent January.

The £30million Frenchman missed some games mid-January after isolating with the Covid-19 virus. In addition, he’s been in and out of the starting line-up this month when available during the five games he has played.

He was phenomenal on 2 January in the draw against Liverpool by dominating in the centre of the park. Even some opposition fans on Twitter were left praising him for his display against them.

However, talkSPORT pundit Bent has noticed a drop off in Kante’s levels lately:

“Kante, at the minute, he hasn’t looked like the Kante of old. He’s been giving the ball away a lot recently, which is not like him,” Bent told talkSPORT.

In fairness, he’s not been at his very sharpest in his two most recent Premier League starts against Brighton and Manchester City. The 30-year-old’s passing may have been a little wayward at times when you compare it to Blues teammates Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic, but even the great players are allowed a mini dip.

It won’t be a surprise to see him bossing proceedings when the side return to action after a small winter break.

Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Chelsea must be aware of Kante’s contract situation

Of course, a lot of talk right now regarding Chelsea contracts is around the spate of defenders whose deals expire at the end of this season.

It’s imperative the Blues resolve the futures of players Antonio Rudiger, Cesar Azpilicueta and Andreas Christensen. If they don’t extend their stays, plans must be in place to sign replacements this summer.

Kante’s contract is due to expire at the end of next season in 2023, and Chelsea should learn from mistakes by not leaving it until the last minute.

Yes, the club don’t usually hand out long-term contracts to over-30s. Kante simply has to be an exception to the rule, though.

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A sports journalist who graduated from Staffordshire University in 2016 and is a Chelsea supporter. Loves anything football or cricket related when it comes to England.