Chelsea legend Michael Essien believes N’Golo Kante will benefit from the arrival of Jorginho at Stamford Bridge because the World Cup winner now has the chance to improve the attacking side of his game.
Kante has been an integral member of Chelsea’s midfield since signing from Leicester City in 2016, following up his Premier League success at the King Power Stadium with another top-flight title win with the Blues and also an FA Cup victory last term too.
Kante also played a key role as France won the World Cup in Russia this summer but, since returning to Chelsea, the 27-year-old has seen himself shifted from a holding role onto the right of Maurizio Sarri’s three-man midfield due to the arrival of Italy international Jorginho.
The move paid off quickly as, during Chelsea’s first game of the season away to Huddersfield, Kante scored the opener as the Blues won 3-0.
And Essien, who spent nine years at Chelsea, believes Kante’s different role under Sarri will be “good” for the Frenchman because it will allow him to score more goals.
Speaking exclusively to Standard Sport, Essien said: “Anywhere that you put N’Golo, he will play.
“Like you said, he’s playing on the right and he’s getting in the box quite often, which last season he didn’t because he had to stay and protect the back four.
“Now that Jorginho is there, he’s given him more freedom to go forward which is good for him. He can score a few goals hopefully!”
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Jorginho has enjoyed a seamless start to his Chelsea career after signing from Napoli in July shortly after the Blues announced the capture of Sarri from the Italian club where the pair worked together for three years.
The 26-year-old midfielder has started every game under Sarri, apart from Chelsea’s League Cup triumph over Liverpool, and has scored one goal so far this season.
And Essien is not surprised that Jorginho has adapted quickly to the Premier League, saying: “I’m not surprised because he worked with Sarri at Napoli and I played against him a few times.
“He’s such a good player and he really knows the manager well. When you know the manager, it makes things easier for you.
“He’s such a clever boy, and clever player. Everyone can see that. He’s enjoying his football.”
Chelsea remain unbeaten under Sarri this season, with the Blues currently sitting in second place and level on points with leaders Manchester City and Liverpool.
While results have been positive so too has the playing style under Sarri due to the Italian’s preference for an attacking 4-3-3 system, which has allowed the likes of Eden Hazard to enjoy more freedom on the pitch.
And Essien added when asked about Sarri: “You can see he’s a good manager. The team is playing well so there’s no need to change the system.
“It [the 4-3-3] is one of his best systems and they are very good at it.”