N’Golo Kante of the French national team won't play in next month's World Cup because of a hamstring injury that has kept him off the pitch for most of the English Premier League season. Kante is an elite midfielder who competes for Chelsea FC in the EPL.
Kante, who has barely played this season, will be out for at least four months after undergoing surgery.
Kante's abilities to read the field and intercept passes is almost unparalleled in soccer.
France's Paul Pogba, a Juventus midfielder, is questionable to participate in the World Cup after undergoing surgery on his knee last month. If Kante and Pogba are both out for France, the team’s midfield could be depleted. France can choose from midfielders on European clubs to replace them.
France’s forwards, meanwhile, are healthy. The lethal combination of Kylian Mbappe, Karim Benzema, Antoine Griezman and Olivier Giroud up front seems invincible. Likewise, France's defensive line, led by Raphael Varane and Presnel Kimpembe, looks impenetrable.
The main question looming for France is how it will replace its star midfielders, who played so well the team's run to the World Cup title in 2018.