Thierry Henry cannot stop heaping praise on the Frenchman and he is absolutely right in doing so. With Nemanja Matic having one of his worst games against Burnley on Sunday, Kante single-handedly obliterated Burnley’s counter attacks in the midfield. His immense work rate blended with perfection in what he does is what made Leicester the Premier League Champions last season and is likely to make Chelsea the same, this time.
He made 30 attacking third passes, recovered the ball seven times in the midfield, won four crucial tackles that otherwise would have seen the result pan out differently and also had two interceptions at the back. It is for his assurance in defensive midfield that Antonio Conte gets to play Cesc Fabregas up front with full liberty.
Although Alexis Sanchez hogged the limelight as Arsenal went on to win a nervy fixture against Hull City, pundits couldn’t stop noticing the growing influence that the English attacking midfielder has had on Arsenal’s game in the last few fixtures.
After his brilliant display against Southampton in FA Cup fourth round, Chamberlain was brought on to help when a struggling Aaron Ramsey limped off the pitch with Arsenal trailing to Watford. Although Chamberlain couldn’t help Arsenal win against the Hornets and at Stamford Bridge the following match, his urgency on the ball has led many to believe that he deserves to start him alongside Francis Coquelin against the mighty Bayern Munich in the midweek.
Chamberlain’s ability to win the ball in the midfield and provide quick passes up front to the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck, makes Arsenal extremely dangerous and they will need this tactic to beat Bayern on Wednesday night.
Burnley, though, were brilliant in attack and defence and tested Thibaut Courtois quite a number of times but lacked the quality to edge out Chelsea in the shoulder-to-shoulder fixture. And if not for the brilliant goal from Robbie Brady’s free-kick, the Clarets would have had to console themselves as undeserving losers. The Norwich left-wing back, who is surprisingly comfortable in the midfield too, has been a hot prospect last month. Burnley had to fight the likes of Crystal Palace, Sunderland, Leicester City, Southampton and more to land him at Turf Moor.
Whether it was crossing, winning the aerial duels, interceptions or holding the ball, the Irish international was simply brilliant against Chelsea. If Burnley are aiming a top-half finish at the end of the season, Brady is touted to play a significant role in it.