5 reasons why Kante is Chelsea’s most influential player right now
N’Golo Kante is undoubtedly one of the best players in the world. After the Champions League final in May, many tipped him to win Ballon d’Or this year.
The Frenchman has been a crucial cog in Tuchel’s machine, and we can’t imagine Chelsea without him.
Last week, we posted an editorial rating Chelsea’s 11 most influential players, and N’Golo came first.
Here is a brief explanation of what makes him so good.
- Defensive wall
You have probably heard someone saying, “75% of the world is covered by water. The rest 25% is covered by N’Golo Kante”.
In some games, it looks like the Frenchman moves with a speed of light or is capable of being in several places at the same time.
It’s a mix of his immense physical strength and fantastic game intelligence that allows him to be one, two or three steps ahead of everyone else on the pitch.
Kante offers well-timed tackles and interceptions, protecting his team and making it extremely difficult for opposition players to get close to Chelsea’s penalty box.
- Offensive contribution
In addition to his defensive qualities, Kante is invaluable going forward. While not a midfield metronome like Jorginho or a creative genius like Mount, N’Golo is a reliable passer capable of creating problems for opposition with his contribution in the final third.
He completes an average of 1.79 dribbles per game, makes 4.89 progressive carries and records 4.43 progressive passes — better than most defensive midfielders.
Kante is extremely useful when it comes to long balls, as his accurate long-range passing often leads to dangerous counters.
He is excellent at avoiding the opposition’s pressing as his quick turn on the ball adds fluidity and pace to Chelsea’s attacks.
- Man for big games
Tuchel’s side defeated Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid on their way to the final. These were four extremely difficult games, and N’Golo was often the difference between progressing further and getting knocked out.
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In all these games and especially in the final against City, Kante assumed a role of a leader on the pitch: not the one who shouts at his teammates, but one who inspires and leads by example.
Kante thrives on big occasions. He is a player you want in the trenches, as he has repeatedly shown during his time with Chelsea.
- Everyone loves him
Kante’s charming smile, humility and positive attitude makes everyone fall in love with him. And when we say everyone, we mean everyone, including rival fans.
Even Man City supporters were praising the midfielder after his massive performance against them in the Champions League final.
Ask any fan in the world, no matter what club he or she supports: Kante would always be among their favourite players.
There is simply no other player in the world who would be so indivisible.
- Serial winner
In addition to being a beast on the pitch and a likeable lad off it, N’Golo is what you call a serial winner.
No matter at which team Kante plays, he makes sure that his side wins something, be it promotion (Caen, for whom he played in France), league title (Leicester and Chelsea), the Champions League (Chelsea) or World Cup (France).
After Leicester brought him to the Premier League from the depths of Ligue 1’s relegation battles, N’Golo has won 7 major titles, becoming a cult hero for Chelsea, Leicester and France fans.
That is because Kante’s reassuring, assertive presence makes players around him better, and leads to trophies.