COMMENT By Dominic Toner
Chelsea pulled off the signing of the summer when they completed the £30million deal for N’Golo Kante.
The 25-year-old made the brave decision to leave Premier League champions Leicester after inspiring them to a first top-flight trophy in their history.
Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez received many of the plaudits for their attacking success, but it was midfielder Kante who was the real heartbeat of the side.
The Frenchman has made a smooth transition to Chelsea and Sunday’s 1-0 victory against Middlesbrough took them to the top of the league under manage Antonio Conte.
He is yet to miss a single minute of the Blues’ league campaign this season and has built a formidable partnership alongside Nemanja Matic, something he did with England’s Danny Drinkwater at Leicester.
Kante has become crucial to Chelsea’s 3-4-3 formation and provides the perfect defensive screen, with the club not conceding during their current six-game winning run.
The France international was expected to provide a defensive cover following his Chelsea move, but he has also added a new dimension to his game.
He has shown a greater range of passing and desire to attack as well as keeping his fantastic ability of intercepting the ball.
Chelsea were forced to pay £30million for Kante and he has certainly proved his worth.
Liverpool’s summer acquisition of Sadio Mane is certainly a player who has impressed following his move to Anfield, with Victor Wanyama also impressing at Tottenham.
Everton’s recruitment of Idrissa Gueye and Ashley Williams have also proved to be fantastic signings in the Premier League, but no player has transformed a club’s fortunes like Kante.
Chelsea slumped to a miserable 10th-placed finish last season and are now regarded as serious title contenders as they sit on the top of the league.
In other Chelsea news, why this emerging star can play a vital part in the club’s title hunt.