N’Golo Kante is too complete a midfielder to be restricted to a simple holding role, says Frank Lampard.
The Chelsea manager had the Frenchman available to start after his injury in the Super Cup against Liverpool on Wednesday.
And Kante, who is widely acknowledged as the best defensive midfielder in world football, starred in both defence and attack during the thrilling penalty shootout defeat following a 2-2 draw after extra-time.
“The idea that N’Golo wins the ball as well as anyone in world football doesn’t mean he has to sit in front of the back four and do that,” Lampard said in the build-up to the Blues facing Kante’s former side Leicester at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
“He has too much in his game to do that. He can drive forward with the ball, leave midfield areas and win the ball back high up the pitch, so that’s what I want to give him the freedom to do.”
Lampard said Kante’s position as a more advanced midfielder in previous manager Maurizio Sarri’s Blues team was “overtalked at times”.
“The important thing for me and all my midfield is that we have a flexibility and no one is pinned down to an absolute structure,” Lampard added.
“We saw elements of that against Liverpool where players have a freedom to use their attributes.”