Frank Lampard wants France to leave N’Golo Kante out of the squad for next month’s Euro 2020 qualifiers so the Chelsea midfielder can recover from injury.
Kante played through a knee problem in the Europa League final against Arsenal and consequently spent much of pre-season recovering.
The 28-year-old was only fit enough to appear as a 73rd-minute substitute in the 4-0 defeat to Manchester United on the opening day of the new season, in which he hurt his ankle.
He was able to play in the UEFA Super Cup against Liverpool and the 1-1 draw at home to Leicester City but missed Saturday’s 3-2 victory at Norwich City.
Lampard now hopes France coach Didier Deschamps decides to let Kante rest and recuperate by leaving him out of the squad for matches against Albania and Andorra.
“It is a difficult one. He has had four years of constantly playing,” Lampard said. “[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. [Saturday] 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.”