How Kante’s return is huge for Chelsea ahead of Real Madrid showdown – Potter

FOOTBALL How Kante’s return is huge for Chelsea ahead of Real Madrid showdown – Potter

Kiplagat Sang • 11:52 - 18.03.2023

The former Leicester City star returned to training after a long spell of injury.

Chelsea manager Graham Potter has explained how huge a boost N’Golo Kante’s return is ahead of their Champions League meeting against Real Madrid.

The French midfielder has only played two games this season for the Blues since he suffered a hamstring injury in August.

The two-time Premier League winner returned to full training at the start of the month, and Potter believes this is a huge boost for his side.

Chelsea - who lost last season to Real Madrid at the Champions League quarter-final stage (losing the first-leg 3-1 at Stamford Bridge before a brave show at the Santiago Bernabeu), will face the La Liga giants in the last eight again.

The Blues defeated Borussia Dortmund 2-1 on aggregate in their last-16 tie to book a date with the Spanish outfit, and the draw saw a number of Chelsea fans reacting with surprise and shock.

"Yes," Potter responded when asked if the time to get Kante up to speed for Real Madrid is significant.

"When you have a player injured for that length of time, you have to take those steps regardless of what our situation is, to take the steps to get him up to speed, get him back to the player he is in a responsible way, doing it as safely as we can, which enables him to take the right steps to go forward.

"Once he is at his highest level, he is a huge player for us.

"Managers before me have spoken very highly about N’Golo because he is a top, top player. He has been a huge miss for us. That’s not to say other players haven’t given absolutely everything, they have. But N’Golo Kante is a top player."

The first legs of the quarter-finals have been scheduled to take place on April 11 and 12, and the return legs will be played on April 18 and 19.

Chelsea will take on Everton in a Premier League match on Saturday.

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