Chelsea boss Frank Lampard wasn’t impressed with the way his France counterpart Didier Deschamps handled N’Golo Kante’s injury.
Kante has only made six appearances under Lampard this season amid ankle problems. There were signs, however, he was on the road to recovery after playing all 90 minutes of Chelsea’s 4-1 win at Southampton last time out before joining Deschamps in France.
Given that he’d only just got the midfielder back, Lampard asked Deschamps to leave Kante out for the international break.
But the France boss snubbed his request, and instead advised Lampard to “play Olivier Giroud a little bit.”
Therefore, Kante remained on international duty despite not playing a single minute for France. The closest thing he got to a bit of action was in making the bench for Les Bleus’ 1-1 draw with Turkey on Monday.
So, Kante’s time ended up being a total waste when he could’ve remained in London to work on his rehabilitation from a groin injury.
He will now sit out of Chelsea’s game against Newcastle United this afternoon.
“No, N’Golo’s not fit, he had a small groin issue in the warm-up to the first international game for France,” said Lampard, according to Football London.
“We didn’t get him back until after the second game and he’s not fit for Saturday.
“Before the international break, I know Didier Deschamps mentioned in jest a little bit about Olivier Giroud and that was obviously quite light-hearted and I get it, we all have our selection problems and he had his in the two games.
“But the Kante one was not a laughing matter because we communicated before the last international break because he was injured so couldn’t go, let’s think what benefits the player, he didn’t go, we both agreed on that. That’s how things should work.
“After the first game when he pulled out, he then had a fitness test the day before the second game, it was clear that he couldn’t play. He then sat on the bench on the evening of the game, so that’s not communication, so it’s not such a laughing matter I suppose.
“And it’s more for Kante himself because he’s not an inexperienced player, he’s been around the block, he’s won World Cups, he’s been a fantastic player. I think that probably could have been handled better for sure.
“Our doctors were speaking and there were some times when things weren’t coming back to us when I would expect them to come back – that’s what I mean about communication.
“Even though we joked about the communication from the time before, that was much better to deal with it, as opposed to not.
“We got a player back a bit later. I understand when players are on international duty, they are their player as such but it was quite clear he wasn’t fit to play.”