'Chelsea are OK even without Kante' - Conte

The Blues boss is close to seeing his star midfielder back in action but insists that his side now know how to play without his industry.

Antonio Conte

N’Golo Kante’s absence from Chelsea initially saw the team go winless in their following two games, but Antonio Conte has insisted his side have a plan B after defeating Watford and Everton.

Kante won the PFA Player of the Year award last season after his £32 million move from Leicester City but he picked up a hamstring injury while away with the France national team in early October.

Chelsea’s match against Bournemouth on Saturday comes too soon for Kante, with his manager believing he could return against Roma on Tuesday. Conte is happy that Chelsea have learned how to play without their midfielder after initially blaming his absence for a downturn in form a few weeks ago.

“For sure, it is not simple to play without N’Golo because he is an important player for us, but now I think that the team is used to playing without him,” Conte said at a news conference at Cobham Training Centre. "But I hope to see him back very soon with us.

“There are players with the same characteristics but N’Golo is a really good player. He is becoming a top player for his characteristics, but in the world there are many players with the same characteristics.

 “[Danny] Drinkwater is almost ready and Kante is at the stage almost to come back with us. The only problem now that we have to face is that we need more time with Moses.”

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