Former Liverpool centre-back Jamie Carragher believes Chelsea midfield enforcer N’Golo Kante has been “as good as any player in the league” since Thomas Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard towards the end of January.
Since Blues owner Roman Abramovich opted to pull the trigger on former boss Lampard the Blues have not looked back, putting together a remarkable run of form that has seen them lose just two of their first 25 matches under the German’s stewardship.
When Tuchel took charge, the Blues were tenth in the Premier League table and faced a difficult looking UEFA Champions League last-16 tie with Atletico Madrid. Fast forward the clock by just over three months and you will find Chelsea third in the table and preparing for the final of the Champions League.
The impact Tuchel has had has been simply outstanding.
Many individuals within his ranks have contributed to that being possible, ranging from Edouard Mendy between the sticks, to Thiago Silva at centre-back and to Mason Mount weaving his magic in the final third.
Another man who has been key in the Blues’ excellent run of recent form is French midfielder Kante, who continues to be the midfield anchor that every team dreams of having. His performances, certainly recently, have been outstanding, with his showing in last week’s Champions League semi-final second-leg victory over Real Madrid earning no shortage of praise.
Now, Carragher has become the latest figure to wax lyrical about the former Leicester City man, insisting he does not believe many players have performed as well as him in the Premier League since Tuchel’s arrival in England.
“I think Kante, certainly since Tuchel has come in, has probably been as good as any player in the league,” Carragher told Sky Sports.
“Some of his Champions League performances have been outrageous in the past few weeks.”
Carragher is not wrong. Kante has been phenomenal in the Champions League, proving to be at the heartbeat of the Blues’ run to the final. His showing against Madrid last week was outstanding, drawing in no shortage of praise and plaudits.
Kante, too, has played a key role in drastically improving the Blues’ defensive record, with Chelsea having become the clean sheet specialists since Tuchel took charge.
Alongside Carragher on Monday Night Football was fellow Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville, who waxed lyrical about the improved standards in defensive work that Chelsea have produced since Tuchel took charge.
Do you want all the latest news from around Chelsea Football Club straight to your email inbox?
Of course you do.
By signing up for our Chelsea newsletter, you will receive a twice-daily email, focused on all the latest news from Stamford Bridge.
And, not only that, but you will get exclusive content from our club writers Sam Inkersole and Adam Newson before anyone else.
You won’t miss a thing when it comes to the Blues.
How do you sign up?
It’s easy and only takes seconds.
Simply type your email address into the box at the top of this article – or any article on the Chelsea section of football.london in fact – labelled ‘Get the biggest daily stories by email’ and click ‘Subscribe’.
Alternatively, you can click here and tick the Chelsea box to subscribe for our Blues newsletter.
If you decide later that you no longer wish to receive the emails, simply follow the unsubscribe link in one of the newsletters – but we don’t think you’ll want to.
“I don’t know how Tuchel coaches it, he’s been here four or five months, he has games every Wednesday and Saturday, there’s no time on the training pitch, you’re talking about recoveries most of the time,” said Neville.
“How has he coached that instantly into a team straight away? It’s an outstanding coaching performance and well done to the players for taking it on board as well.
“If you said to me that [Antonio] Rudiger, [Andreas] Christensen and [Cesar] Azpilicueta in a back three – and Thiago Silva, who’s a brilliant player but an ageing player – would have 11 clean sheets, I’d say not a chance.
“It’s got to be down to the manager and the coaching.”