As confirmed by a number of reliable outlets this afternoon, Chelsea star N’Golo Kante has been given permission to remain in self-isolation, after the Frenchman revealed his concerns over the potential implications of a return to competitive action on his health.
Following a 2-month break amid the coronavirus outbreak, top-level football is of course gearing up for a collective return across much of Europe.
After the Bundesliga led the way with a successful resumption last weekend, all of Serie A, La Liga and the Premier League have put plans in place to get back underway over the coming weeks.
OH HOW WE’VE MISSED THIS GAME 😍
— 🇩🇪Ja! Watch the Bundesliga live on BT Sport🇩🇪 (@btsportfootball) May 16, 2020
Despite the German top-flight having proven that the resumption of sport under safe circumstances is very much possible, though, many, including some players, have voiced their concerns over football in England potentially returning too soon.
The UK has been one of the worst-hit nations on the planet in terms of confirmed COVID-19 cases, with the current figure sitting at over 250,000.
Sergio Aguero, Manuel Lanzini and Danny Rose are amongst the high-profile names to have spoken out over the resumption of the Premier League, though it was Troy Deeney’s recent revelation that he would not be answering Watford’s call to return to training which truly grabbed the headlines.
Speaking earlier this week, the Hornets star revealed that concerns over the health of his young son had seen him come to the decision to remain in self-isolation for the time being:
‘We’re due back in this week. I’ve said I’m not going in.’
‘My son is five months and he’s had breathing difficulties. I don’t want to come home and put him in more danger.’
Chelsea grant Kante leave
And, as outlined above, a 2nd Premier League star has today followed Deeney’s lead.
The individual in question is N’Golo Kante.
As confirmed by the likes of the BBC and Guardian, Chelsea midfielder Kante has opted to continue his training regime at home, rather than with the rest of Frank Lampard’s squad at the club’s training ground.
This comes after the Frenchman made his COVID-19 fears clear to the Blues’ staff.
Significantly, it is added that both Chelsea and Lampard have provided their full backing to Kante, and support the 29-year-old’s decision.
According to the BBC, the Londoners ‘recognise Kante has genuine concerns and while Cobham has been made as safe as possible, no pressure has been applied to the former Leicester player to reverse his decision.’
Kante actually returned to Chelsea’s training base on Tuesday to take part in limited group work, but has since opted to remain at home.
As things stand, it remains altogether unclear whether the World Cup winner will make himself available for selection again this season.
Chelsea have said they will allow N’Golo Kante to stay away from training because of coronavirus fears – even if it means him missing the rest of the season.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) May 22, 2020
This article was edited by Josh Barker.