Bakayoko is key in Chelsea coping without Matic, says Kante

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The Blues have seen their decision to sell the midfielder to Manchester United questioned by some, but Tiemoue Bakayoko is being backed to shine

N’Golo Kante is confident Tiemoue Bakayoko can make Chelsea forget about the loss of Nemanja Matic once he settles into the team.

The Blues have seen their decision to part with a two-time Premier League title winner questioned by some – especially as they sanctioned a £40 million sale to rivals Manchester United.

Matic had been a key figure alongside Kante for much of the 2016-17 campaign, as Chelsea swept to the English top-flight crown.

Tiémoué Bakayoko Chelsea Tottenham 08202017

Kante, though, believes Antonio Conte has enough quality at his disposal to cover the Serbian’s departure, with big money spent on signing Bakayoko from Monaco to ensure depth is maintained in midfield.

“Who plays is not the most important – we had very good players last season and this season also.

“The main thing is how we play and how we work in training.

“As soon as Tiemoue understands how the team work, how the manager wants us to work, we can play very well.

“Tottenham was his first game and it wasn't easy for him, because it was the first game away to a good opponent, and he did very well. I've tried to help him to settle well at Chelsea and feel good in the squad.”

Eden Hazard, Chelsea

Chelsea battled their way to a 2-1 victory over Tottenham last time out and follow that up with a home game against Everton on Sunday.

Chelsea 23/20 -1 handicap v Everton

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That game is likely to come too soon for Eden Hazard to make his return to action, but the Belgian forward did turn out for the Blues’ U23 side on Friday and Kante is looking forward to welcoming a key man back into the fold.

He added: “We know he's a top player and to have him in the squad is really important for us because he can make the difference in every moment.

“We're waiting for him to be ready and to come back and help us.”

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