The summer of 2023 is going to be a very important one at Chelsea. With the best bookies for football actively taking bets on English Premier League matches, the decisions the London club have to take on the future of their three significant players will influence the power balance and odds. Their contracts expire at the end of this season, and no decision has been made yet regarding their extensions. Let’s take a look at the current situation and analyse the possible outcomes.
Until 3-4 years ago, the French central midfielder was the most stable player in the team. However, the situation has changed over the years, and now it is more likely than ever that Kanté will leave Chelsea, the question is will it be a transfer, or the end of his contract. Let’s find out why the London club is voluntarily letting go one of the best central midfielders in the world.
Kanté faced a setback in his recovery from a hamstring injury that he got during Chelsea’s match against Tottenham on August 14th, keeping him out of action until now. This latest setback with the injury will keep him out of the next 4 to 5 Chelsea fixtures. And out of the World Cup as well.
Kanté has struggled with injuries since 2019 and his latest setback will heighten doubts over whether Chelsea intend to offer him a new contract before his current one expires next June. So the 31-year-old midfielder faces an increasingly uncertain future at Stamford Bridge. Kante will be free to begin pre-contract talks with clubs outside of the Premier League in January in order to secure a move upon the end of the contract.
Chelsea is not sure whether they can rely on Kanté, even though he is one of their most important players when fit. There have been indications that the club will consider his fitness record during negotiations. That could lead to Chelsea offering a shorter, less lucrative deal.
Despite his injuries, Kanté has been considered one of the most effective players. According to Whoscored statistics, Kanté has an average of 3 tackles per game and 2,3 inters. These figures are better than those of the 80% of central midfielders, Whoscored says. Kanté has been one of the most consistent players, who rarely have a bad game.
The Frenchman is considered good at movement without the ball, can play in various positions and is useful in attack. His unexpected crosses have led to goals or assists many times. At Chelsea, N’Golo is the team’s safety net when defenders are moving towards the other side’s goalpost. He is an important link in the transition phases, which minimises the risk of losing the ball – Kanté’s tenacity and unyielding nature are well known.
The rumours about unsuccessful contract talks in the spring appeared long ago. And now has the club decided to let the player go, abandoning the idea of keeping him in the squad?
Sure, the injury problem is the most important for the central midfielder. Even not taking into account the latest setback, Kanté used to play almost every game, but his statistics have been getting worse over the years. So, in the 20/21 season he missed 25 games, in 21/22 – 16. Now, while the English Premier League season is gathering pace, Kanté has only played 2 games – he has not played since that August match due to a thigh injury.
Secondly, Kanté is 31 years old. Age is not critical, but chronic muscular problems have been plaguing him for the third consecutive season. As things stand now (N’Golo has only played half of the games under former Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel), it is not wise to keep the player on that wage. Most likely, Kanté will leave the team at the end of the season. But he will unlikely remain without a new team – even despite his injury records, a number of top teams are interested in the player, including Barcelona and PSG. Many analysts believe that Spain, where combination football is promoted and the workload of the players is noticeably lower than in the EPL, will be the best solution for N’Golo.
The Italian midfielder has been playing for Chelsea since 2018. Jorginho is an important centre-back, and the age of 30 is not crucial for this role. There are new contract talks with him underway. João Santos, Jorginho’s agent, said during an interview in June that the player was happy with the conditions at his current club and intended to extend the contract. It was planned that all issues would have been resolved by September, but that is doubtful since the player demands a significant pay increase.
According to a source at Chelsea, the management fear that the Italian will refuse to sign a new deal and leave as a free agent. Some say that Jorginho’s representatives are in no hurry and are considering different options. Earlier reports suggested that the midfielder was thinking of continuing his career at Juventus.
Despite turning 38 in September, the player shows an excellent football level and brings a lot of value to the team. He suffers occasional injuries but is not out of action for long. And when the Brazilian is fit, he is almost always in the starting lineup.
In a recent interview, Chelsea’s new manager Graham Potter said he had already noticed Silva’s level in his few weeks at the club and was impressed with the level of football he plays at 38. Potter also highlighted the defender’s leadership qualities and his correct behaviour on the pitch.
According to the manager, Thiago Silva should be the one to decide whether to extend his contract at the end of the season. If he feels he can keep playing at the highest level and his physical condition does not decline, then the team will have no problem extending the contract. Overall, everything depends on the current season – if the defender is injury-free, he is likely to stay in the club.
Thiago himself has said that he is not going to end his career yet, and if he does not extend his contract with Chelsea, he will look for other options.
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