Following Chelsea’s Champions League victory over Atletico Madrid, Thomas Tuchel singled out N’Golo Kante for special praise, claiming that the midfielder gives the Blues an almost unfair advantage due to his tireless play.
Chelsea beat Diego Simeone’s side 2-0 at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday, progressing to the quarter-finals with a 3-0 aggregate victory.
Tuchel is well aware of Kante’s contribution to the team effort, even though he was not among the scorers.
“I never guess my players’ ages based on their results. If you play with him, you’re playing with half a man more because he provides exceptional strength and volume “Tuchel said of the France midfielder, who is approaching his 30th birthday and remains one of the game’s hardest workers.
“It’s a pleasure to mentor him; he’s a huge helper on the field, and don’t underestimate his ability to use [the ball] and escape strain.
“He has space to improve with the ball, but he is a great addition to the squad. Today, Kova [Mateo Kovacic] and he had to step up, and because they knew they could be counted on, they took on all of the responsibility and did an outstanding job.”
Tuchel’s unbeaten start to his Chelsea career, which now stands at 13 games, was extended with Wednesday’s victory.
In addition to a spot in the Champions League’s last eight, the Blues have moved back up the Premier League table to fourth place.