N’Golo Kante’s chances of return vs Everton revealed as Potter make huge selection hint
N’Golo Kante’s chances of making the Chelsea matchday squad against Everton in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon have been revealed.
The 31-year-old has been out of action since last August with a hamstring injury which saw him undergo surgery, ruling him out for around four months.
Kante has been stepping up his recovery and started to train with the rest of his Chelsea teammates at Cobham in recent weeks.
Head coach Graham Potter explained prior to Chelsea’s 3-1 win over Leicester City last weekend that he hoped Kante could be available to face Everton.
The 47-year-old: “He still needs more time to build up. We’re aiming maybe for Everton.”
The Frenchman has continued to train in the build-up to Everton and Potter confirmed he has a chance of making the squad.
“N’Golo has a chance of being in the squad.”
However, the Chelsea head coach will not rush the midfielder back, who will also need to be slowly reintegrated to get back up to full speed following a long absence.
Potter added: “Managers before me have spoken very highly about N’Golo because he is a top, top player.
“He has been a huge miss to us, that’s not to say other players haven’t given absolutely everything, they have. But N’Golo Kante is a top player.
“It’s great for us that he’s back, we need to be mindful of the fact that he’s had a long injury, we need to make the next steps to get him up to speed in the Premier League, which is what we will do. But it’s great to have him with us.”
But Chelsea will be without both Raheem Sterling and Mason Mount still for the meeting in the capital.
“Raheem has a problem with his hamstring. It’s not too serious but he’ll miss the game at the weekend and he’ll miss the international trip.
“It’s the same for Mason. He has been struggling a little bit with his pubic bone. He wasn’t 100 percent in the last game and still isn’t quite there. So he’ll miss the England camp.”
Thiago Silva (knee) and Cesar Azpilicueta (head) also remain sidelined. Potter added: “Thiago is still away. Azpi is still away.”