French midfielder N’Golo Kanté to miss World Cup in Qatar

French midfielder N’Golo Kanté will be out of action for four months after undergoing hamstring surgery, his club Chelsea announced on Tuesday, meaning he will miss the next World Cup in Qatar. 

The French national team will have to do without one of its key players for the upcoming World Cup. The French midfielder N’Golo Kanté has undergone surgery on his hamstring and will be unavailable for four months, which will prevent him from playing at the World Cup in Qatar, his club Chelsea announced on Tuesday.

The decision to operate was taken “by mutual agreement” after consultation with a specialist, the London club said, adding in its statement: “Following a successful operation, N’Golo is now expected to be unavailable for four months.

The announcement came as no surprise to anyone, with the world champion having played just the first two Premier League games for his club before joining the infirmary.

“I’m sad for him. He is disappointed. He’s had one physical problem after another in the last two seasons. He has relapsed after a muscle injury,” said Didier Deschamps. “Not having ‘NG’ is a strength in less, because of his energy, his experience. He is a very likeable little man who always has a smile on his face (…) We will miss him,” added the French coach.

N’Golo Kanté and Repeated injuries


N’Golo’s injury was the first time he had been injured in a training session, but he was left out of the squad for the Champions League trip to AC Milan.

“N’Golo had a reaction in training, so we’re waiting for more information on that,” the coach said in a pre-match press conference.

“It’s obviously not ideal. It’s disappointing for him and for us. We have to wait and see how serious it is and then we’ll take it from there,” he added.

Kanté, who has been playing for the club for the past two seasons, is a member of the club’s squad for the Premier League’s UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League.

“Historically, there are things that have happened that are worrying and we need to get to the bottom of it,” he had continued, referring to Kanté’s numerous absences in recent seasons.

Since the 2019-2020 season, the relay midfielder has missed more than 60 matches with muscle or joint injuries, as well as two Covid-19 infections.

At 31 and with his contract expiring at the end of the season with Chelsea, Kanté may not return until the very end of the winter and this surgery almost looks like a last chance operation to get his career back on track.

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