In the shocking news of the day, N’Golo Kante, arguably Leicester City’s most important player last season as they won the Premier League title, has signed for Chelsea on a five-year £32 million pound deal.
Chelsea announced the signing of Kante on their twitter page early this morning after negotiations had been taking place all week following the French midfielder’s solid displays at Euro 2016.
The singing of Kante certainly is an interesting one by Chelsea, as they already have one of the best defensive midfielders in world football of their own in Nemanja Matic. It is likely that Kante will probably play along side Matic but Conte’s versatility with his formations and his players will mean that he could also end up playing as the anchor of a midfield three with Cesc Fabregas or could even steal Matic’s spot in the team. The French midfielder was Claudio Ranieri’s first signing as Leicester City boss last season and didn’t disappoint one bit in his first season in English football. He made more tackles (174) and interceptions (155) than any other player in Europe’s top five leagues and was a key member of Leicester’s title winning squad as he was selected for the PFA Team of the Year.
However, I’ll never understand how a player could leave a club a Premier League winning club that helped establish him as one of the best footballers on the planet, for a side that finished in 10th last year and didn’t even do enough to achieve Champions League football. Although Chelsea is one of the best clubs in the world and Antonio Conte is one of the best managers in the world, it is still a very surprising move for everyone involved, including Leicester City who lose an irreplaceable member of their squad. No other player in the world does what N’Golo Kante does on a football pitch. He’ll be a massive loss for the English champions next seasons and they won’t be the same without him.
On that note though, Kante’s move is unsurprisingly not about money but instead about the opportunity to play at one of the biggest clubs in the world with one of the best managers in the world. He said in an interview with Chelsea Football Club,
“The opportunity to work with Antonio Conte, a brilliant coach, and some of the best players in the world was simply too good to turn down…My first season in English football was very special and now I hope to go on to achieve even more during my time as a Chelsea player. I am looking forward to meeting up with my new team-mates and helping the club achieve a lot of success” (Chelsea FC, 2016). Kante also posted a heartfelt message on his Twitter page, thanking Leicester City and explaining the move.
N’Golo Kante is also likely to fit Antonio Conte’s style of football excellently well. Chelsea Football Club technical director Michael Emenalo said after the singing of Kante,
“N’Golo is a fantastic signing ahead of the new season and we are delighted to have been able to bring such a talented player to the club. He is a perfect fit in terms of Antonio Conte’s philosophies and the style of football he wants to play. For a player of his age he has already built up a wealth of experience and his exceptional quality will without doubt be a great addition to the team” (Chelsea FC, 2016).
The signing of N’Golo Kante by Chelsea comes as a surprise but really shouldn’t be, he was one of the breakout stars of the 2015-16 season and fully deserves a move to one of Europe’s elite. From Chelsea’s perspective, this could be the signing of the season as Kante has all the tools needed to succeed with The Blues. N’Golo Kante is one of the best footballers in the world and will likely have a massive impact on Chelsea’s 2016-17 campaign as they look to bounce back from a disappointing season and win the Premier League title again.
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