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Conte: On the right path

Antonio Conte has been speaking about first-team regular N'Golo Kante as well as two players who have recently returned from loan spells.

Kante is in line to return to the King Power Stadium as an opposition player for the first time later today when we face Claudio Ranieri’s Leicester City.

The French midfielder didn’t feature during our 4-2 EFL Cup win there earlier in the season, but will be expected to start in today’s tea-time kick-off.

Kante was instrumental as Leicester defied the odds to win the Premier League last season, and he has been equally impressive since moving to Stamford Bridge in the summer.

Conte is pleased with the seamless manner in which Kante has slotted into the side.

‘It can happen that when you change and you go from one team to another, with totally different expectations and different pressures, you can suffer and then you don’t have good performances at the start of the season,’ said the Italian.

‘N’Golo went into the team very well. I remember when he arrived in pre-season. It was later than the other players because he finished his holidays after them, but he’s started his path at Chelsea very well.’

One player who could be involved today is Nathan Ake, the versatile Dutchman who was recalled from his loan spell at Bournemouth after performing well for Eddie Howe’s side.

‘Ake has improved a lot in the last one-and-a-half years and I felt it was right for him to come back,’ explained Conte. ‘Also, in January, the market is not easy, so I took the opportunity for us to bring him back.’

Charly Musonda has also been training with Conte’s squad in recent weeks having come back from a loan spell at Real Betis in Spain.

Conte admits this is a crucial period in the 20-year-old’s development.

‘Musonda is a bit different [from Ake] because he wasn’t playing much at Real Betis,’ said the Blues boss. ‘He was a player who, in pre-season, I would have liked to see. Now he stays with us, he has good prospects, he can improve a lot and he’s very young.

‘I think if he stays with us to work, to improve physically, technically and tactically, it will be very important for him and for me because for the next few months I can have a good option.’
 

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