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N'Golo Kante: Is he better than Claude Makekele?

N'Golo Kante picked up the PFA Players Player of the Year award in London this past weekend and after two stunning seasons in the Pr...


N'Golo Kante picked up the PFA Players Player of the Year award in London this past weekend and after two stunning seasons in the Premier League I ask the question "Is he better than Claude Makelele?"

I personally believe he is despite both being very different types of players for their teams. You think back to when Makelele became the pivotal part Jose Mourinho's team anchoring the midfield and providing protection to our back four. Compare that to the barnstorming energy that Kante has covering almost every blade of grass on that pitch with an obvious licence to get forward under Antonio Conte, you can see how different their individual roles are.


Claude Makelele had such a calming influence on the Mourinho teams. He wasn't someone that was going to run all over the pitch chasing players down, he would almost patrol an area just in front of our defence and whenever the opposition came close, he would always find himself to be in the right position to close them down, to win the ball back and to give the ball early to one of the creative players in the team. It was simple but very, very effective and as we all know, he had that position named after him as it became "The Makelele Role".


What is there left to say about N'Golo Kante? We all watched from afar last season and took notice of a small but dynamic Frenchman signed from the French lower leagues by ex-Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri at Leicester. This guy was everywhere in that midfield, winning tackles, hunting the ball down but had endless energy to do so. He proved to be a very instrumental cog in Leicester's impressive title win in his first season in England last year.

When he signed for Chelsea I think all of us were overjoyed first and foremost but also surprised that he chose to leave Leicester who were about to embark on their first Champions League. It proved to be an inspired decision with what has happened to both clubs this year.

After losing Ramires, it became clear that we needed defensive reinforcement in that area. As I have stated many times, Nemanja Matic can play his best when he feels comfortable knowing that he has someone next to him who is willing to work hard without the ball. No offence to him and to be fair he has stated the same himself recently but that's why Cesc Fabregas cannot play alongside Matic as a two-man midfield paring.

What impresses me about Kante is his drive and determination. How often do you see him make an attempt to win the ball that fails but to then go again almost instantly to have another go rather than be beaten? Even if he ends up on the deck, he gets up and goes again straight away with relentless determination and that's what makes him different from everyone else.

I have to say that I get the impression that he is also underrated as far as his ability with the ball at his feet is concerned. His use of the ball is normally excellent and he has already demonstrated a number of times his willingness to take people on with the blistering pace he has (just look at Southampton in the first half the other night as he drove forward, beating three/four defenders to reach the byline to then play in a dangerous cross).

At Chelsea we were blessed with players such as John Terry, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba who formed part of our impressive spine including Petr Cech that the team was built on. These people were the foundation of the team and became instrumental in the successes we had. N'Golo Kante is now one of those players that Antonio Conte will look to become the same with the likes of David Luiz to build for our future.

To think that Kante was JUST A THIRD of the price that Manchester United paid for Paul Pogba!

What a signing and well deserving of his Players Player of the Year award. Do you agree that he is better than Claude Makelele?

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