Tim Sherwood claims the introduction of N’Golo Kante nearly cost Chelsea the win last night at Tottenham. The former Spurs boss has raised doubts over the Frenchman’s passing while offering glowing praise for his rejuvenated team-mate Jorginho.
The Italian struck the all-important winner from the spot last night after Eric Dier chopped down Timo Werner.
Jorginho abandoned his hop-skip-jump run-up in four of a more conventional approach, confidently dispatching the ball to Hugo Lloris’ right.
The 29-year-old has forced his way back into favour under Thomas Tuchel, after losing his place in the side under Frank Lampard.
World Cup winner Kante has been slowly recovering from a tight hamstring and replaced Mateo Kovacic after 74 minutes last night.
“He understands what the manager wants and applies that on the pitch. Kovacic alongside him also understands.
“They’ve played big games both of them all over Europe. They understand the game, the tactics of the game.”
Tuchel seems to have settled on a midfield pairing of Jorginho and Kovacic in his opening three matches but the return of Kante will give him a decision to make.
The German also revealed that youngster Billy Gilmour is close to forcing his way back into the picture, as Chelsea decided against a mid-season loan.
Speaking at his unveiling, Tuchel made it clear that he believes Kante works best in a double-pivot.
“I think he’s the strongest in the double six, the centre and the heart of the game. Gives him little more freedom than when he plays a single six, what he can do,” Tuchel said.
“But for me he is a double six because we can use his energy and we can use his range and his volume in his game. His ability to recuperate and recover balls everywhere on the pitch.
“He is a guy who is a big, big helper for everybody, with the mentality of a helper, a water carrier, but at the same time a world-class player who played a crucial role in the World Cup win for France.
“That’s why he’s super important to have him and for me the double six is the best role because it gives him a bit more freedom than the single six which demands a bit more discipline on the position and maybe cuts his wings a little bit, but I am sure he can also play there.”