Sunday 21 January 2018

Two stats that reveal exactly why Chelsea shelled out such a fortune for N'Golo Kante

N'Golo Kante has signed for Chelsea
N'Golo Kante has signed for Chelsea

Tom Rooney

Antonio Conte is known as a manager who places a huge priority on defensive stability and organisation and, as such, it’s no mystery as to why he’s made N’Golo Kante the second signing of his nascent tenure at Chelsea.

Since Leicester were crowned the least likeliest champions in Premier League history, the football world has watched closely to see if they can hold on to the players that spearheaded their greatest accomplishment.

The Foxes managed to tie Jamie Vardy to a long term deal amid continued interest from Arsenal during the European Championships, but have been unsuccessful in convincing others to do likewise.

Reports today have revealed that Riyad Mahrez has turned down a vastly improved deal and is thought to be coveted by Barcelona.

Of course, Kante’s departure for Stamford Bridge for a reputed fee of £32m will come as a huge blow to all parties with a vested interest at the King Power Stadium, as Gary Lineker amply demonstrated on Twitter this afternoon.

One bright note is that Kante arrived from Caen last summer for a fee of £5.6m, so Leicester have made a sizable profit on their investement.

The diminutive midfielder’s indefatigable endeavour and industry were often a sight to behold last year and, at times, the Frenchman was a force of nature.

That Leicester spent most games with little to no possession made his job of buttressing their admittedly solid the defence all the more taxing.

At just 25, Kante could potentially anchor Chelsea’s midfield for close to the next decade and he will likely draw comparisons to another compact powerhouse, Claude Makelele, who is deservedly revered at the Bridge.

Statisticians Squawka have revealed that Kante made the most tackles and interceptions of any other player in Europe’s five most competitive divisions.

In time, his hefty price tag may look like a bargain.

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