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Will injuries force Kante into early retirement? Chelsea star may be close to the end, claims Leboeuf

17:49 GMT+3 23/12/2022
N'Golo Kante
N’Golo Kante may be edging his way towards retirement, claims Frank Leboeuf, with the Chelsea star finding his injury struggles difficult to shake.
  • Midfielder has been missing since August
  • Hamstring issue proving problematic
  • Into final year of contract in west London

WHAT HAPPENED? The World Cup-winning France international midfielder has made just two appearances in the 2022-23 campaign, with a hamstring problem preventing him from figuring at club level and forming part of his country’s efforts to defend their World Cup crown in Qatar. Kante is also into the final year of his contract at Stamford Bridge and Leboeuf has suggested that his fellow countryman may consider hanging up his boots if fitness problems persist and no suitable offers are put to him.

WHAT THEY SAID: Leboeuf, who won the World Cup in 1998 while playing his club football for Chelsea, has told Safe Betting Sites of Kante: “I haven’t spoken to him about his fitness and how he feels but it could be that he’s nearing the end of it [his career]. Because the thing is we have to understand that we are talking about a human being. Suddenly your body says okay, enough, leave me alone. The end of your career is also a part of your career, and you have to choose the right time to give up. Even if you don’t want to and even if your football is great and you want to carry on.

“You have to give envy to people and not pity. So you have to make a decision in your own mind [regarding retirement]. You have to talk to your family and say maybe okay, it’s over. So I don’t know his shape but if he feels that he can serve Chelsea well then he should stay.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Kante joined Chelsea from Leicester in 2016 and has made 262 appearances for the Blues, claiming a Premier League title, Champions League crown, Europa League triumph and Club World Cup success along the way.

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WHAT NEXT? It remains to be seen where he figures in Graham Potter’s long-term plans in west London, with Chelsea’s current boss so far unable to call upon the services of a man who has established a reputation as one of the finest holding midfielders in the business.