Arsene Wenger appears to disagree with Maurizio Sarri over how best to use N’Golo Kante

The French midfielder has been used in a more attacking role this season (Picture: Getty)

Arsene Wenger has made it clear that he sees N’Golo Kante’s best role as winning back possession in front of the defence – which is not how Maurizio Sarri has been using him for Chelsea.

The French World Cup winner started once again as the most advanced of Chelsea’s three central midfielders in Monday night’s FA Cup last-16 defeat to Manchester United.

Sarri does not believe Kante is capable of playing at the base of midfield in his system, but former Arsenal manager Wenger says that is where his countryman thrives most.

Kante was powerless to stop Man Utd running out victors in the FA Cup (Picture: Getty)

Asked for his opinion on Kante on the red carpet at the Laureus Awards on Monday night, Wenger said: ‘Phenomenal. To have a successful team you need to have somebody, or some players, who sacrifice themselves for the team. Don’t talk, do it.

‘When you lose the ball in front of you, he just works for you to win it back and he gives it back in the proper way.

‘People who have maybe a smaller ego, but a bigger spirit of sacrifice, usually they make the difference.

‘We spoke about Brazil, in Brazil they had a player that I bought, Gilberto Silva, who had a similar role in 2002 in the success of the Brazilian national team in Japan.’

Sarri has been criticised for taking Kante out of his natural role mopping up in front of the Chelsea defence, with the Frenchman recording fewer tackles this season than compared to any since he made his breakthrough at Caen.

Wenger, meanwhile, was handed a lifetime achievement award at the Laureus World Sports Awards 2019 in Monaco on Monday night.


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