Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has called on Didier Deschamps and the French Football Federation to leave N'Golo Kante out of the squad for the upcoming international break, as the midfielder continues his recovery from injury.
It has been a rocky start to the season for the 28-year-old, who spent much of pre-season on the sidelines after picking up an injury in the Europa League final.
He was a substitute for the season opener with Manchester United, and after returning to the starting XI days later to face Liverpool in the UEFA Super Cup, he featured for 90 minutes against Leicester before another injury, this time to his ankle, forced him out of the 3-2 victory over Norwich.
He is unlikely to start against Sheffield United this weekend, and with France facing a double-header with Albania and Andorra over the following week, Lampard has called on Kante's national team to sanction a recovery period and leave him out of the squad.
"It's a difficult one. He has had four years of constantly playing," Lampard said following the Norwich game, as quoted by Goal. "[The] injury from the Europa League final has affected his pre-season. Then he hurt himself against Man United.
"We're 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."
The Blues picked up their first win of the season in Kante's absence on Saturday, but will be fully aware of his influence, and as such hopeful that a break can see him come back at 100% for the trip to Wolves on 14 September.