EPL

Lampard wants Kante to skip France's Euro 2020 qualifiers

By Sports Desk August 26, 2019

Frank Lampard wants France to leave N'Golo Kante out of the squad for next month's Euro 2020 qualifiers so the Chelsea midfielder can recover from injury.

Kante played through a knee problem in the Europa League final against Arsenal and consequently spent much of pre-season recovering.

The 28-year-old was only fit enough to appear as a 73rd-minute substitute in the 4-0 defeat to Manchester United on the opening day of the new season, in which he hurt his ankle.

He was able to play in the UEFA Super Cup against Liverpool and the 1-1 draw at home to Leicester City but missed Saturday's 3-2 victory at Norwich City.

Lampard now hopes France coach Didier Deschamps decides to let Kante rest and recuperate by leaving him out of the squad for matches against Albania and Andorra.

"It is a difficult one. He has had four years of constantly playing," Lampard said. "[The] injury from the Europa League final has affected his pre-season. Then he hurt himself against Man United.

"We are trying to get him through it. [Saturday] was too painful. The international break will be great for him to get the injury right. It would be great for everybody [if Kante stays] because he's been playing game after game after game."

One Chelsea player who Lampard would like to see rewarded with an international call-up is Mason Mount.

Mount has been tipped to win an England spot for his displays this month, the 20-year-old scoring for the second time in two games at Carrow Road.

"I've said it a lot last year. Being called up for his country, that's hopefully going to come pretty soon again," Lampard said of Mount. "He can go absolutely to the top. He's impressed me. He had another step on in pre-season.

"At Derby, he was great. But that's one thing. Coming to Chelsea, with the competition he's got in midfield and the expectation level that comes with it, is another thing.

"I keep going on about his character. For me, it's such a big percentage of the package and he has all of that and he has the quality. Intelligent players who have that talent are really great to work with.

"I don't want to heap expectation on him. But I will tell him that every day because I feel it, and when someone's humble and hard-working like him, it doesn't matter. You can tell them because it will never stop his drive or his hunger.

"He's not a boy that wants the razzmatazz of it all, he just wants to be a top player for Chelsea and then England and I believe he can be. It's the way his family have brought him up. He is a pleasure to work with."

Related items

  • Mourinho keen to 'do a Mauricio' with five-year stay at Tottenham Mourinho keen to 'do a Mauricio' with five-year stay at Tottenham

    Jose Mourinho knows Tottenham is probably his last major club job in English football and would love to emulate the length of Mauricio Pochettino's stay in north London.

    Spurs sacked Pochettino after five-and-a-half years at the helm on Tuesday, moving swiftly to secure former Chelsea, Real Madrid and Manchester United boss Mourinho as his replacement.

    The 56-year-old has penned terms until the end of the 2022-23 season and spoke glowingly of the squad, facilities and wider project he has inherited in north London when facing the media for the first time in his new role.

    As such, he has designs on staying in charge even longer and matching Pochettino's longevity.

    "I would love to stay many years," he said. "When I say many years, I know realistically how football is.

    "If I could do a Mauricio, five-and-a-half years, it would be amazing."

    A three-time Premier League winner across two spells at Chelsea, Mourinho suggested he has 10 years left in the game when pondering his long-term future.

    That means, if all goes to plan at Spurs, this job will conclude his time in a division with which he will be forever associated.

    Other potential stops sketched out for his final years could be boyhood club Vitoria Setubal back in Portugal and his national team,

    "So, I'm 56, 61 [after five years at Tottenham]," he added.

    "Ten more years – Vitoria Setubal, Portugal. It's maybe the last [job in England], yeah."

    The immediate item on the agenda for Mourinho is a trip to face old foe Manuel Pellegrini and a West Ham side enduring a similarly underwhelming campaign to Spurs.

    Tottenham are winless in the Premier League since the end of September, with a return of three draws from their past five matches.

    They lie 14th – two places and a point better off than West Ham, who last won six games ago at home to Mourinho's old employers from Old Trafford.

  • Blundell on standby to replace Nicholls for New Zealand after batsman takes Archer blow Blundell on standby to replace Nicholls for New Zealand after batsman takes Archer blow

    Tom Blundell is on standby to replace Henry Nicholls against England if the New Zealand batsman is ruled out of the remainder of the first Test.

    Nicholls was struck on the helmet by a bouncer from England paceman Jofra Archer in the penultimate over on day two at Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui.

    The 28-year-old was able to remain at the crease and was unbeaten on 26 at stumps, with the Black Caps 144-4 in reply to the tourists' 353 all out.

    Nicholls will undergo concussion tests and Blundell will replace him if he is unable to continue.

    New Zealand paceman Tim Southee said: "He's a pretty tough character so he'll rest up tonight, a couple of Panadol and be back out there.

    "He'll be assessed later on tonight and again in the morning, that's the protocol.

    "He's shaping up all right at the moment so fingers crossed he'll be right."

    Sam Curran took the big scalp of Kane Williamson for 51 after also removing Tom Latham.

    Ben Stokes earlier top-scored with 91 for England, with Southee taking 4-86 in an opening match of the series that is nicely poised.

  • Western Sydney Wanderers 2-3 Melbourne City: Maclaren snatches late victory for A-League leaders Western Sydney Wanderers 2-3 Melbourne City: Maclaren snatches late victory for A-League leaders

    In-form striker Jamie Maclaren scored in the 92nd minute as Melbourne City snatched a 3-2 win at Western Sydney Wanderers to move four points clear at the A-League summit.

    City conceded four second-half goals to lose 4-3 at Brisbane Roar last weekend, but they bounced back to edge a thrilling game at Bankwest Stadium on Friday.

    Wanderers could have drawn level on points with their opponents with a victory and they were ahead inside 90 seconds, Kwame Yeboah converting Bruce Kamau's first-time cross - the goal allowed to stand following a VAR check for offside.

    Joshua Brillante and Daniel Georgievski came close to scoring for their respective sides in an open game, but it was Maclaren who netted the game's next goal from the penalty spot after Pirmin Schwegler pulled on Denis Genreau's shirt.

    The visitors completed the turnaround 17 minutes later when Lachlan Wales squared the ball for Brillante to tap in, only for Yeboah to hammer past Dean Bouzanis to complete his brace after Alexander Meier unselfishly headed the ball into his path.

    Late drama followed, however, as Maclaren was given time and space to turn inside the box and rifle home late on to make it nine goals for the season.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.