Thursday, March 30, 2023

Barcelona Keeping A Keen Eye On This Chelsea Midfielder: Good Move For Xavi?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent report, Fichajes claimed that Barcelona are keeping a keen eye on Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante this summer. It is understood that the Catalan club have identified the French midfield ace as a target for the summer transfer window.

Kante’s Recent Form In English Football

The 31-year-old has experienced a solid campaign at Stamford Bridge but has not played his best football over the past ten months. Kante has registered two goals and five assists in 42 matches for the Blues this season across various competitions.

Despite not hitting his best form, the 52-time France international has managed to be an influential presence at the centre of Chelsea’s midfield as he is averaging 2.3 tackles, 1.2 interceptions, 0.9 key passes and 1.3 dribbles per 90 minutes in the Premier League. He has even been accurate when distributing the ball from midfield after making 86.7% of his attempted passes in the English top tier (stats via whoscored).

Barcelona (N'Golo Kante)
LONDON, ENGLAND – MAY 19: Ngolo Kante of Chelsea in action during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Leicester City at Stamford Bridge on May 19, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
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Is Recruiting Kante A Good Move For Barcelona Boss Xavi?

Kante is a tough-tackling central midfielder who has still got a lot of energy to chase the opposition and can time his tackles well to earn possession back for his team. The Frenchman excels at creating some decent chances for his teammates when given time on the ball. He can also make a few intelligent runs towards the opponent’s penalty area.

Kante is past his prime but is still playing at a high level. Hence, he will be a good asset for a club like Barca as they need to add more quality and experience to their midfield department this summer.

Kante could go on to form a good midfield partnership with Frenkie de Jong at the Nou Camp over the next couple of years. He might even help the Catalan club close the gap to Real Madrid at the top of Spanish football next season.

At 31, the former Leicester City midfielder has got a few good years left in him which makes him a good short-term option for Xavi to consider this summer. With all things considered, signing Kante will be a good move for Barca as he could inspire some of their younger midfielders Gavi and Nico Gonzalez to improve and become better versions of themselves in the future.

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