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Lampard urges France to let injured Kante skip international duty

22:30 BST 25/08/2019
N'Golo Kante Chelsea 2019-20
The Blues boss hopes that his injury-hit midfielder gets a break as he aims to get over several recent set-backs

Frank Lampard is hoping France allow N'Golo Kante to sit out the international break in order to work on his physical condition.

Kane's start to the season in west London has been beset with injury.​ The midfielder played with an injection in his knee during the Europa League final at the end of May and he subsequently spent much of the summer in rehabilitation.

Lampard was without Kante for almost all of pre-season but brought him back to the bench for the opening game of the season against Manchester United. Kante came on against United and injured his ankle, but played through it during his side's Super Cup match against Liverpool and a home league game against Leicester City.

However, Kante was forced to sit out Chelsea's 3-2 win at Norwich City on Saturday.

World champions France face Albania and Andorra in Euro 2020 qualifiers in a fortnight, but Lampard has called on Les Bleus manager Didier Deschamps​ to allow Kante to stay at Cobham Training Ground. 

"It is a difficult one. He has had four years of constantly playing," Lampard said at Carrow Road. "[The] injury from the Europa League final has affected his pre-season. Then he hurt himself against Man United.

"We are trying to get him through it. Today was too painful. The international break will be great for him to get the injury right. It would be great for everybody [if Kante stays] because he’s been playing game after game after game."

Lampard's plea also means Kante is in doubt for Saturday's match against Sheffield United ahead of the upcoming international break.

The Chelsea boss then admitted that Pedro is doubtful for Sheffield United next week, but he was more optimistic about Mason Mount, who got a knock in a goalscoring performance against the Canaries.

The 20-year-old's goal and Tammy Abraham's double saw Lampard earn his first win as Chelsea manager after four games in charge of the club.

Though the youngster has yet to make his England debut, he has previously been called up by Gareth Southgate.​ Lampard believes his young attacking midfielder is good enough for England and hailed him after yet another positive display.

"It is Gareth’s shout," Lampard said of Mount's inclusion for England. "I would hate to second guess or have a headline to say what his squad should be. He’ll watch games. I know that they know a lot about Mason.

"I’ve said it a lot last year. Being called up for his country, that’s hopefully going to come pretty soon again. He can go absolutely to the top. He’s impressed me. He had another step on in pre-season.

"At Derby, he was great. But that’s one thing. Coming to Chelsea, with the competition he’s got in midfield and the expectation level that comes with it, is another thing. I keep going on about his character.

"For me, it’s such a big percentage of the package and he has all of that and he has the quality. Intelligent players who have that talent are really great to work with. I don’t want to heap expectation on him.

"But I will tell him that every day because I feel it, and when someone’s humble and hard-working like him, it doesn’t matter. You can tell them because it will never stop his drive or his hunger.

"He’s not a boy that wants the razzmatazz of it all, he just wants to be a top player for Chelsea and then England and I believe he can be. It certainly helps but he’s driven and he’s not going to get carried away with himself.

"It’s the way his family have brought him up. He is a pleasure to work with."

England announce their squad for the September international break on Thursday.