Chelsea fell to their first defeat of the season on Saturday in disappointing fashion, as Tottenham Hotspur ran riot in a 3-1 emphatic victory at Wembley Stadium.
As a result, the Blues now find themselves in fourth place in the table, seven points behind leaders Manchester City, while fifth-placed Arsenal breathe down their neck.
Weekend’s derby exposed a lot of weaknesses in the Chelsea side, and manager Maurizio Sarri will have to return to the drawing board if the Stamford Bridge outfit are to finish strong this season.
The Blues defence had a very bad day, but Premier League legend Alan Shearer believes thing might have been different had N’golo Kante played in front of the back four.
The Frenchman was moved to the right of midfield upon Sarri’s arrival, with Jorginho taking up the defensive midfield spot.
However, the Italian struggled against Tottenham, and his poorness was highlighted as Heung-min Son left him in his wake for the hosts’ third goal.
“Why Maurizio Sarri is not playing N’Golo Kante in front of his back four baffles me,” the ex-Newcastle United striker wrote in The Sun.
“Without the little French dynamo in that hole, tidying up, tracking runners, it leaves the Chelsea central defenders David Luiz and Antonio Rudiger massively exposed — as Spurs showed to such devastating effect on Saturday night.
“Jorginho is not in the same class. Kante is wasted playing where he did against Spurs, higher up the park and to the right. He is not an attacking midfielder. I know Sarri worked with Jorginho at Napoli and trusts him in that holding position but he had a poor night at Wembley.”
Kante led Leicester City and Chelsea to league titles playing as a shield to their defences, while his influence in the role also helped France to the World Cup in Russia.
It’s unknown why Sarri chose to move him away from the position he so much excels in, but that tactical mistake was Chelsea’s undoing against Tottenham, and it could cost them this season if Kante isn’t returned to his favourite position.