Maurizio Sarri has suggested that N'Golo Kante does not possess the technical qualities that are needed to play in Jorginho's role at Chelsea and claims the midfielder was "too attacking" in the 3-1 defeat to Tottenham on Saturday.
"[N'Golo] Kante's not moving because he's signed a massive contract". He's not only one of the best midfielders on the planet, but he's also a humble and highly likeable guy. He's obviously a very good player and likes getting on the ball.
There has been talk this week of moving Kante deeper into the role which is now occupied by Jorginho, but Sarri is having none of it.
But Sarri explained there is a time and place for Kante to attack.
Chelsea have already qualified for the Europa League knockout rounds ahead of their clash with PAOK, but their fringe players will be determined to impressed at Stamford Bridge.
Sarri has resisted the temptation to field an array of youngsters in this competition, and even star man Eden Hazard started the 1-0 Matchday Four win in Belarus against BATE Borisov.
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In a damning verdict on his team's performance, he accused his players of lacking "determination" and "motivation" during the match at Wembley and said Spurs "destroyed" his team in the space of 15 minutes.
"The numbers will be big and I think he's not quite there yet in terms of being a ready-made impact player". I want to see that we have learned our lessons'. The target is very clear in my mind: "the target in the short period is to win something, and in the long period it's to become the best team in Europe".
Sarri said: "I am anxious because 25 days ago he had a back injury".
"Hazard 25 days ago had a back injury and now the ankle and so he has lost a lot of training, so it is normal he is not at the top of his physical condition".
His sudden goalscoring prowess wowed many Chelsea fans, who failed to remember the number of goals he scored in his first six games for the club last season before his lengthy goal drought.
They then host Fulham on Sunday hoping to close the seven-point gap to league leaders Manchester City, but Sarri believes there is little point looking at the table. "He just needs to adapt to what the manager wants".