N’Golo Kante, after much speculation of where he was to go, finally has made his decision and it looks like he will trade his Leicester blue for a Chelsea blue for five years to the tune of £32 million.
With this move, Chelsea now has a very formidable midfield that will try and erase the memory of finishing 10th place in last year’s Premier League season. Kante was ecstatic about joining Chelsea writing on his Instagram, “At the beginning of the new season I chose to join @chelseafc. It is a great club, which has just recruited a great coach and want to reach high ambitions I share. The club’s project and the coach’s speech have convinced me to join this new ambitious adventure.”
Kante will most probably have a similar style of manager much like he did at Leicester City with Claudio Ranieri. Antonio Conte is the former Italy manager and sometimes plays a similar 4-4-2, like the one of Ranieri, although Conte has been known to be fond of playing three in the back and stacking five in the middle. Conte has come out and said that although he does prefer the five-man midfield, that he is “flexible.”
Whatever the formation, Kante will most probably be a great fit for Chelsea in the middle along with Hazard, Willian and Oscar. However, some competition might arise as Conte is determined to keep Juan Cuadrado, who is coming back from a loan at Juventus. There is also the question of what to do with Matic and Fabregas, as these are very formidable defensive midfielders that might be useful if Conte plays a five-man midfield.
Even with the questions of what Conte is going to play, or if he might adapt to the Chelsea defensive style, Kante will have to prove himself if he wants to see minutes at Stamford Bridge. He has proven himself a formidable center midfielder playing an instrumental role in Leicester’s unlikely run for the title, and also playing well to take his young French team into the finals of the European Championship.
But, now the time has come for Kante to prove to the world that he is an elite midfielder and that his £36 million contract is well justified. At Leicester, the world’s eye was not upon him but now that he has come into prominence, he will have to come out and perform to deliver Chelsea back to their championship winning ways. And given his record with the Foxes and France, Kante can be a force to drive Chelsea to great things.
As for Leicester, they will definitely miss their French center midfielder, as his presence on the field was one of the driving forces in their title run. Even more so if they are to lose their other French midfielder in Riyad Mahrez, who has recently rejected a contract to stay with the Foxes, as there goes two key pieces of the Leicester City machine that Ranieri worked with. However, they needn’t worry too much as they still have their leading-goal scorer in Jaime Vardy.
Not to mention that £32 million can buy the Foxes a suitable replacement for Kante going forward, but the explosiveness and grit that Kante brought to Leicester will leave them looking weaker for sure. But with Ranieri and the magical Foxes, who knows what they might be capable of?
As for Kante, he will most likely be a shining star in London, and being only 25 years of age, it looks like he has a promising career in one of the best teams in the Premier League.