Didier Deschamps provides N’Golo Kante update after Chelsea star is injured in France warm-up

The midfielder was pulled from Friday night’s line-up after the setback (Picture: Getty)

France coach Didier Deschamps has played down the severity of N’Golo Kante’s injury after the midfielder picked up a problem in the warm-up prior to Friday night’s game.

The Chelsea star, who has been dealing with a number of injury niggles this season, had been in the starting XI to take on Iceland in Les Bleus’ Euro 2020 qualifier but was replaced by Tottenham’s Moussa Sissoko shortly before kick-off.

Frank Lampard had not wanted Kante to be called up at all given his recent injury record, but Deschamps does not believe the latest setback is serious.

Lampard had not wanted Kante to be called up to the France squad (Picture: Getty)

‘He felt a pain in the adductor [groin] muscle,’ said the France boss after the match. ‘He had a feeling where he did not feel comfortable to play.

‘I made the decision [to pull him from the squad], because maybe it could get even worse. I knew Moussa would be ready.’

Pressed on whether he would play for France against Turkey on Monday, he added: ‘I do not think it’s too serious for NG [Kante], but I do not have an answer tonight.’

France struggled somewhat in the absence of Kante – as well as the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Paul Pogba – but won 1-0 thanks to an Olivier Giroud penalty.

Kante’s setback will do nothing for relations between Deschamps and Lampard, with the Chelsea boss having been wary of letting Kante join up with the national team so soon after coming back from injury.

Deschamps watched his side secure a narrow win in Iceland on Friday (Picture: Getty)

Speaking after naming Kante in the squad in spite of Lampard’s request, Deschamps said: ‘Lampard asked me not to pick Kante at the last rally, if it’s still that way.

‘Maybe I’ll call him later to tell him it would be nice if you play Olivier Giroud a little bit.’


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