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N’Golo Kanté is great. He might make France worse.

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The Leicester City midfielder is creating imbalance at the Euros.

France v Albania - Group A: UEFA Euro 2016 Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

The worst part of being a national team coach might be the system vs. talent debate. You either sacrifice some talent to get the most cohesive playing style on the pitch, or you try to get the best players into the side and figure out a system around them. Both sides of the debate have their merits and their faults. You can’t buy players like a club coach, so very often, your hands are tied. It’s a maddening position to be in.

France head coach Didier Deschamps may have such a problem when his side take on Germany in the Euro semifinals. Who might be creating such a problem? A player whom few people outside of France had ever heard of a year ago: N’Golo Kanté.

The diminutive, 25-year-old defensive midfielder may not have grabbed as many headlines as Jamie Vardy or Riyad Mahrez during Leicester City’s historic run to the Premier League title last season, but he was probably the most important. Kanté had an absolutely insane work rate, seemingly breaking up attacks in multiple places at once. His manager, Claudio Ranieri, called him the "Energizer Bunny." Kanté earned the nickname. Thanks to his superlative abilities as a destroyer, Mahrez and Vardy were able to catch defenses out and spring their signature counters. It all started with Kanté.

His form was just too good to be ignored. Deschamps had no choice but to call him into the national squad, and his play earned him a place in the starting XI at the Euros, despite having only been capped four previous times. You wouldn’t be wrong to think that this was one of the easier decisions Deschamps could have made with his squad.

France by no means played badly in the first four matches of the tournament, having only conceded two goals (both penalties) and three shots on target, while scoring six. Their Expected Goals Differential sat at plus-four. They were playing well, and there was no reason to think that they still weren’t a favorite to go all the way, especially on home soil.

Something just wasn’t quite right in the midfield, however. Deschamps played Kanté as a No. 6 shielding the back four, while Paul Pogba and Blaise Matuidi combined in front of him. That pushed Antoine Griezmann out wide in a front three with Olivier Giroud and Dimitri Payet. Griezmann prefers to play withdrawn behind Giroud, and as was apparent against Switzerland and Republic of Ireland, the attack took awhile to jumpstart, or never got going at all.

Kanté’s presence not only pushed some players out of position, but it created redundancies with Pogba and Matuidi. Pogba has repeatedly stated that he wants to get forward more, but he still brings a great deal of defensive value in the center of the park. Matuidi does the same thing. Kanté is a pure destroyer. Suddenly, Deschamps had three central midfielders banging heads together, with no natural inclination to link up with Payet and Griezmann ahead of them. France managed to close games out late in the group stage and the round of 16, but they were unable to establish any kind of rhythm through the center. Payet has been magnificent all tournament, but he’s basically been the team’s sole expressive force.

Kanté served a yellow card suspension in the quarterfinals against Iceland, and suddenly, France looked like the team everyone expected them to be. Moussa Sissoko came in on the right-hand side of a 4-5-1, allowing Griezmann to move centrally underneath Giroud, and thus freeing Pogba to link play with Matuidi covering behind him. It was an absolute masterclass of attacking play. Pogba was able to serve up balls from distance, while Griezmann could pull the strings with Payet and Giroud. France’s five goals on the night reflected all of the pieces finally being put together. Giroud and Griezmann both had their best games of the tournament, while Payet still worked his magic out on the left. Even Sissoko, who never found his groove last year at Newcastle, fit effortlessly on the right, creating three chances himself.

Deschamps is now faced with a serious dilemma. While Kanté has natural destroying ability, he is also one square peg too many in a team that has an extra round hole. He may be one of France's best midfielders, but the team just played better without him. Deschamps must now decide. Will he use France’s quarterfinals performance as the blueprint to beat Germany, or will he revert to what he’s been doing before Kanté was suspended? It remains to be seen. Sometimes, the system should win out over talent.