Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has explained why N’Golo Kante is still Frank Lampard’s ‘most important’ player at Chelsea despite the arrivals of attackers Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech.
The Blues, who finished fourth in the Premier League last season, have been tipped to mount a serious title challenge next term after spending more than £100m on Werner, Ziyech and Ben Chilwell.
Chelsea have also signed Thiago Silva and Malang Sarr on free transfers, while they are closing in on a deal for Kai Havertz and are still looking to sign a new goalkeeper.
Despite the flurry of transfer activity at Stamford Bridge, Hasselbaink still believes Kante – who has been at Chelsea since 2016 – is Lampard’s ‘most important’ player.
‘Kante will be Chelsea’s most important player this season,’ the former Blues striker told GentingBet.
‘Chelsea are going to attack and be so dominant so I would like to see him a lot more behind the ball than in front of the ball.
‘If he can rediscover his form, like it was in the first season under Antonio Conte, or like it was when he was at Leicester, then Chelsea will do really well.’
Hasselbaink also discussed the speculation surrounding Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.
The Spaniard became the most expensive goalkeeper in history when he signed for the Blues in 2018 but he has struggled to justify his price-tag and could leave west London in the coming weeks.
‘I don’t think Kepa has been treated unfairly,’ Hasselbaink added.
‘If you analyse the great goalkeepers in the Premier League, the likes of Schmeichel, Cech, Courtois, Lehmann, Seaman, Ederson, Allison, have all been Champions.
‘Analyse them – there are always moments in that team, that the goalkeeper has to make an incredible save or has to save his team. I’ve not seen that from Kepa.
‘I have not seen that at all in the last two years even when Maurizio Sarri was at Chelsea. And certain goals that have gone in, he should have done much better.
‘So, for Chelsea to talk about another goalkeeper or somebody to challenge Kepa, I can understand.
‘If you want to progress, you need a goalkeeper who can concentrate and is going to pull off one or two very important saves every five or six games.
‘He won’t have a lot to do but when he has got something to do, he has to be there to make the difference. And I’ve not seen enough of that from Kepa.’
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