It’s been quite the last two years for N’golo Kante. Two straight English premier league titles, EPL player of the year, Footballer Writer’s player of the year, and now voted the best French footballer playing abroad at the recent Ligue one awards. He’s only the second EPL player ever win two successive Premier league titles back to back years. The 26-year-old played a vital role this season in the middle of the field for Chelsea, en route to their second title in just three seasons.
The award is determined by Ligue one players who vote on who they think was the best French player in other leagues throughout Europe. Kante beat out some very notable names such as Antoine Griezmann, and Karim Benzema. Kante beat out Chelsea teammate Eden Hazard for Football writer’s player of the year. He also won EPL player of the year where he edged out Hazard once again.
Kante began his career in France, playing for Caen who was promoted to Ligue one the year before Kante made the move to Leicester City in 2015. It’s with the Foxes where he thrived, showing he was an impact player in just his first year in the EPL, leading Leicester to a premier league title. Kante then made the move over to Stanford bridge for this past season.
Different style of play
The Chelsea midfielder brings a gritty style of play to the field. He’s not an outstanding goal scorer. In fact, he only netted two goals all season. Instead, he impacts the game dramatically from a defensive standpoint. Kante ranked second in the Premier league this year in defensive tackles, recording 124. It’s not too often you see defensive midfielders like Kante winning these type of awards. It’s usually goal scoring strikers or offensive midfielders like Eden Hazard or Alexis Sanchez that win these type of awards. But Kante has changed that trend this season. He began his career as more of an attacking player, where he used to play out on the left wing. But the way Kante plays midfield now could change the way scouts evaluate midfielders. They could begin to look at them for their defensive ability and playmaking, like the way Kante plays.
He’s small in stature, which one thought could be against him earlier in his career. But now, he’s proving that he is one of the best players in the Premier league– without being a goal scorer. But simply being a playmaker and an outstanding defensive midfielder.