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Chelsea manager Tuchel defends Kante over form drop

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has defended N'Golo Kante's recent drop in form.

Kante is a practising Muslim and is currently observing Ramadan, which means he cannot eat or drink during daylight hours from April 1 to May 1.

"One thing is clear that N'Golo is a key player because he has outstanding, unique qualities," Tuchel said in his press conference on Friday.

"He's a unique player, who gives us something nobody else can. He's struggling with consistency due to injuries, illness and this is also the reason for our bit of inconsistency.

"We have missed him for so many matches, now he's fasting due to his religion and beliefs so maybe another reason. Not for the first time but if for many days you don't drink or eat it can have an effect.

"Maybe it's also part of the explanation we had the feeling he's not on his highest level if you can compare him against Real Madrid last year. This is nothing to be ashamed of or to feel sorry for. We try to push him because we know what he has when he's on the pitch."

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