At the end of one of the most captivating and unpredictable Premier League seasons in the history of the division in which Leicester City were famously crowned champions, Chelsea moved into the transfer market to secure the signature of N’Golo Kante in the 2016 summer transfer window.
The little known Frenchman had arrived at the King Power as something of an unknown entity, but his incredibly tenacious performances in the centre of Leicester’s midfield formed the backbone of a monumental title bid.
@nglkante MAKELELE 2.0
— R (@Legedenary) July 16, 2016
@nglkante WE'RE GONNA WIN THE LEAGUE LADS
— Greg Lee (@greglee91) July 16, 2016
such brilliant news! @ChelseaFC
— Wa Mwachofi (@mwashigadi_) July 17, 2016
@nglkante WELCOME!!!! Best news!! EXCITED FOR 16/17
— gamu (@Chinuchirai) July 16, 2016
@nglkante wlc to Chelsea FC…make us proud
— John Kweku Otabil (@otabil_kweku) July 16, 2016
@nglkante N’Golo Kantelele
— Ganesh Pai (@paiganesh) July 16, 2016
Evidently, the Chelsea supporters were absolutely thrilled to see Kante arrive at Stamford Bridge and rightly so. One supporter even delivered a prophetic response to Chelsea’s official announcement as Antonio Conte led the Blues to a title victory at the end of the 2016/17 season.
Kante was absolutely pivotal to the success Chelsea enjoyed in the Premier League as he picked up where he left off at Leicester by running the midfield with his all-action approach, and he effectively performed the role of two midfielders at the heart of Conte’s system.
The French engine room became the first player in Premier League history to lift back-to-back titles with two different clubs; his compatriot Eric Cantona had managed to lift back-to-back domestic titles with Leeds United and Manchester United but his triumph with the Whites arrived in the final season before the inaugural 1992/93 Premier League campaign.
That Kante managed to lift back-t0-back trophies with Leicester and Chelsea was absolutely no coincidence and his individual importance to the success of both clubs simply cannot be expressed highly enough.
Under Maurizio Sarri, Kante now finds himself operating with more freedom to roam forward into the final-third whereas, he was strictly an anchor under Conte, so it will be interesting to see if he can add goals and assists to his game within the new system.
Chelsea supporters were absolutely right to welcome Kante to the club with such enthusiasm and, at just 27-years-old, there should be plenty more to come from the infectiously likeable lynchpin.
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