Gary Neville admits he was ‘shocked’ by reports linking N’Golo Kante with a move away from Stamford Bridge as he believes every Chelsea player ‘loves’ him.
The French midfielder was heavily linked with a move away from west London over the summer, however, with former Blues boss Antonio Conte keen to bring him to Inter Milan.
Kante ended up staying at Chelsea and Neville believes the 29-year-old has helped Lampard ‘find his solution’ this season.
The Blues clinched a routine 3-0 victory over Burnley on Saturday, with summer signings Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech both on target.
Manchester United legend Neville said on the Sky Sports Gary Neville podcast: ‘There’s no doubt that here at Old Trafford last week [Man Utd 0-0 Chelsea], we felt both managers were still searching for the solution to get everyone in team.
‘It feels like Frank Lampard had found that solution this week. Kante playing in that holding position in a three in midfield, it’s where we always thought he should play.
‘It’s a modern phenomenon to play a player in that position who is good on the ball. We’ve seen Xaxi and Pirlo do it.
‘But when you think of Fabinho, Fernandinho or Kante, that’s the classic player in that position.
‘Playing Kante there would seem to be the logical conclusion in keeping him at the club.
‘When I saw reports over the summer that Jorginho was going to leave, I wasn’t surprised. When I saw reports over the summer that Kante might leave, I was shocked.
‘I thought, “Frank, he is not a player you want to lose”.
‘He is a unique player and every player in that squad must love him. He does that job brilliantly.’
Lampard, meanwhile, hailed Chelsea new boy Ziyech after he scored his first Premier League goal in the victory over Burnley.
‘I’m really impressed and really excited. I could see his personality and work-rate off the ball,’ Lampard said.
‘That bit of quality gives us something different.’