(Reuters) – France coach Didier Deschamps expects versatile midfielder N’Golo Kante to make a seamless transition to the national team setup but will ease him in ahead of the European Championship.
Kante capped another impressive season with Chelsea by helping them lift the Champions League trophy for the second time with a 1-0 win over Manchester City last month.
The 30-year-old is expected to line up as the sole defensive midfielder for Les Bleus but Deschamps said that could change if they switch tactical systems during the tournament.
“He’s a player capable of playing everywhere in the midfield,” Deschamps told a news conference on Monday ahead of France’s final warmup match against Bulgaria on Wednesday.
“He plays in different positions with Chelsea so it won’t be a problem with us even if there are some adjustments to be made.
“He is good at recovery, good in transition, able to impose himself even if he is not a finisher, he will still have this freedom to go forward if the players around make the sacrifice.”
Deschamps said Kante’s training programme has been tailored to have him fully prepared for their opening Group F match against Germany on June 15.
“He doesn’t have any particular physical concerns so it was more of a recovery,” Deschamps said. “He’s supposed to be at his best, but there’s a chance he’ll be spared tomorrow.”
Lucas Hernandez, Adrien Rabiot and Kingsley Coman are injury doubts for the Bulgaria clash but Deschamps is hoping the trio will be fit to face Germany.
(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)