Frank Lampard insists N’Golo Kante is fully fit, ready for the restart and staying at Chelsea.
Kante opted out of some of the early training sessions because of his concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.
‘It was genuine,’ said Lampard. ‘I was very sympathetic. He wanted to be clear with how it was going to work. That’s been sorted out. He’s been training with the group for a while. He’s happy and as fit as anyone else.’
Kante’s situation sparked fears that the France international, a £30million signing from Leicester in 2016, might be sold to fund a summer transfer spree.
But Lampard said: ‘N’Golo is one of the best midfield players in the world. He has everything I really want to work with.
‘This season has been tough for him because of injuries. It’s nice to see him fresh. N’Golo is so important to us as a team. We need him regularly and hopefully we’ll have that now.’
Pedro and Willian, out of contract in 10 days, are available at Aston Villa on Saturday but Callum Hudson-Odoi and Fikayo Tomori will miss out through injury.