In our look at the latest Chelsea-related news stories from the media, Ross Barkley and Callum Hudson-Odoi are praised after England’s big win in Montenegro, N’Golo Kante is not interested in playing for any team but Chelsea and John Mikel reveals the difficulties he faced in his early days with the Blues.
These stories are samples pulled from external media sources. They do not represent the views or position of Chelsea Football Club.
Praise for Chelsea duo after big England win
Sky Sports named Barkley as their man of the match and gave him an 9/10 rating after he was involved in the team’s first three goals; sending in the free-kick which led to England’s equaliser before scoring goals either side of half-time.
The Daily Mail praised the quality of Barkley’s delivery and finishing and said it was his ‘best night in an England shirt’ as they awarded him an 8.5/10 rating.
And former Liverpool defender-turned-pundit Jamie Carragher was highly impressed by the Blues midfielder, tweeting ‘Brilliant from @RBarkley8 so far tonight & very good in midweek.’
Meanwhile, Hudson-Odoi was praised by England manager Gareth Southgate after an excellent first start for the national team, highlighted by his assist on Barkley’s first goal.
‘It was a fabulous performance from young Callum Hudson-Odoi. This place has been difficult for us before and it was a good test of character,’ said Southgate as reported by the BBC.
‘I don't need to speak about Callum - his performance did that. With young players it's up to them. You can see the talent. His application with us has been excellent but like any player you have to work hard to improve.’
Kante focused only on Chelsea
N’Golo Kante has insisted he is committed to the Chelsea cause and that rumours of other clubs wanting to sign him are ‘not important’.
In a French-language interview with broadcasters RTL, as reported by the Daily Mail, the midfielder categorically dismissed the suggestion that he was looking for a move elsewhere.
'I am at Chelsea and I still have aims here, what is said elsewhere is not important,’ said Kante, who signed a new five-year contract with the Blues last November.
When asked how he would respond if he was to receive a phone call from Real Madrid coach and French football legend Zinedine Zidane, Kante reiterated his point.
'That is not important. I am at Chelsea and I am focused on that,' he responded.
Mikel: I was a very naughty boy
In an interview with the BBC World Service’s Sportsworld, John Mikel Obi has spoken about his early days at Chelsea and the troubles he had establishing himself in Jose Mourinho’s team.
The Nigerian midfielder played 372 games for the Blues over 10 seasons, but he admitted that he had a difficult time adjusting to the Premier League when he first arrived in the summer of 2006.
‘Got sent off on my first game. Mourinho killed me. The speed of the game took me a while to understand it,’ said Mikel, who received a red card on his first Premier League start against Reading.
‘I was a very naughty boy. I’ll get up to speed but I was late to trainings many times. I was wearing the wrong dress codes.
‘Mourinho was very firm with me because he wanted me to learn and learn very fast because he brought me in.
‘With Mourinho, there are no excuses. I was put in a very naughty corner a few times. It took me a while to understand where I am and I had to learn very fast.’