Chelsea have completed the signing of French central midfielder N’Golo Kante. The 25 year old, who had a breakout first season in England last term, becomes Antonio Conte’s second signing, joining us from the reigning Premier League champions Leicester City. Leicester surprised the entire football world by claiming the title after nearly getting relegated during the 2014-15 season. The whole team played tremendously and Kante was an integral member to them lifting the trophy.
Kante is a player that many fans of not only Chelsea but the entire league have become very familiar with. He brings defensive prowess from the center of the park with his abilities of tackling and interceptions, statistics that he led Europe’s top five leagues in. His ability to recover the ball for his team, coupled with his remarkable endurance, have made many pundits and football followers to liken him to Chelsea legend Claude Makelele. Considering his rather diminutive and light frame, he personifies that big things do come in small packages.
His career has taken a meteoric rise since he first became a professional footballer. After spending a few seasons in the lower leagues of France, he started finding his form with SM Caen where he was regularly in the starting lineup. He spent one season in Ligue 1 until Leicester signed him, subsequently being scouted by the same person who brought Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez to the club. During last season his fantastic play earned him a call-up to the France national team, after turning down invitations to play for Mali. He also earned a place in the France squad that finished runner-ups in Euro 2016.
Kante is a player that could most likely be inserted in the Blues starting eleven, regardless of what formation we end up playing. If we play a formation which utilizes three central midfielders (i.e. a 4-3-3 or Conte’s preferred 3-5-2), he would be accompanied by Fabregas and Matic. A midfield with those three, assuming that they are all healthy and not suffering from lack of form, would be most formidable indeed. In the tried and tested double pivot that Chelsea has been using for quite some time, I can see him playing alongside Fabregas more often than not. However, I, along with many Chelsea fans, would rather not see the 4-2-3-1 formation but whatever brings the desired results is fine in my eyes.
Amid all the rumors prior to the completion of the transfer, I watched this fairly long video N’Golo Kante’s skills for Leicester. I’ve taken the liberty to add it to this article for any who would like to see what we are getting. All credit goes to GAEBBA and their YouTube channel.
Welcome to Chelsea, N’Golo Kante!