While there are multiple areas of the pitch that Chelsea need to improve ahead of the 2016-17 campaign, few prove more pressing than the defensive midfield position.
The drab performances of John Obi Mikel and Nemanja Matic have been a common theme for the Blues all season long. It’s becoming a growing inevitability that Chelsea will need to invest in a deep-lying midfielder this summer.
One potential target proves Leicester City’s N’Golo Kante, who has been key in the Foxes’ staggering title charge. The Frenchman appears the perfect remedy for Chelsea’s broken midfield and it would be a wise investment.
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While Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez have been soaking up the majority of the press this season, Kante has been executing the dirty work in Leicester’s midfield engine.
The 25-year-old has been quietly going about his business and has even drawn comparisons to the great Claude Makelele. His tough tackling and no-nonsense approach has won him many admirers as well as a PFA Player of the Year nomination.
Considering this is a player that arrived at the King Power Stadium from a mid-table French side in Caen less than a year ago, his rise has been incredible. Without his battling protection of Leicester’s back four, Claudio Ranieri’s men may not have found themselves in their current position.
Furthermore, with a goal and four assists this campaign, Kante has contributed to the club’s offensive endeavors when required.
It’s been this incredible form that has seen a number of the Premier League’s traditional ‘big teams’ eye up the Frenchman.This week has seen Chelsea added to the list, with The Guardian reporting a potential link.
Kante would prove the perfect addition to the Blues. Matic and Mikel have both been performing inconsistently this season and the club’s back four has been left regularly exposed as a result.
In addition, the 25-year-old has Premier League experience, which will prove vital in Chelsea’s attempted resurgence next season. He would also prove a cheaper alternative to targets such as Radja Nainggolan who would likely carry weighty transfer fees.
If Kante can help galvanise a side to Premier League glory only two years after their promotion, there’s no reason why he wouldn’t be able to do so in the same team as stars like Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa.
With all of Chelsea’s defensive issues, they are crying out for a ‘Makelele’ figure such as Kante. It simply appears the perfect fit.
The only spanner in the works lies with the Stamford Bridge side’s lack of Champions League football going into next season. The Blues’ financial brawn would thus prove the vital motive for Kante to abandon the European football he can be certain of with Leicester.
Nonetheless, whether Chelsea can allure the Frenchman to west London or not, it is certainly an avenue they should pursue. They must invest in this area to continue their upsurge and there appears few better candidates than Kante.
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