2022 World Cup | Huge blow for France as Chelsea’s N’Golo Kanté out for three months

Didier Deschamps has been hit with two major blows in the run-up to squad announcements as Kanté's absence through injury will be added to the uncertainty surrounding Paul Pogba

France and Chelsea have been dealt a serious blow to their midfield after it has been revealed that star man N’Golo Kanté is set for a lengthy spell on the treatment table while missing out on Les Blues’ trophy defense at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

First reported by L’Équipe and then corroborated by The Athletic’s David Ornstein, Kanté is set to be out of action for three months - if not longer - after his previous hamstring injury suffered earlier this season has flared up again.

Kanté has managed just two appearances for the Blues totaling 175-minutes of action across the 2022-23 season to date and was already going to have to bring himself up to speed in rapid order if he was to play an expected vital role for head coach Didier Deschamps when France try to become just the third nation to successfully defend their World Cup crown, and his confirmed absence presence a huge contextual blow not just for the player himself, but the nation’s need in the center of the park.

With 53 caps on his CV and now in his seventh season at Stamford Bridge, Kanté has earned six major club honors between fantastic stints with Leicester City and Chelsea as well as a myriad of personal accolades since his arrival in England back in the summer of 2015.

His influence in midfield for France has become undeniable and a vital cog in the Deschamps wheel, but not only will France now be without one of their talismans, but it also draws further concerns given the situation surrounding Paul Pogba who remains embroiled in a potential scandal involving his brother Mathias.

Should Deschamps opt to not include Pogba in his squad for the winter tournament, France will no longer be able to call upon their World Cup-winning starting central pair that may well have been called upon in the same capacity this time around.

Thankfully for France, who boasts arguably the deepest talent pool in the world, midfield options remain overflowing for Deschamps who can call upon the likes of Eduardo Camavinga, Aurélien Tchouaméni, Youssouf Fofana, Matteo Guendouzi, and Boubacar Kamara.

Despite the talent on offer, the absence of Kanté strips France of experience in the middle of the park and could certainly be telling once hostilities begin in late November.

Andrew Thompson

US-based Football writer. German football guru with a wealth of experience in youth development and analysis. Data aficionado. Happily championing the notion that Americans have a knowledgeable voice in the beautiful game.

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