N’Golo Kante has attracted many admires for his energetic, industrious style.
The Leicester City midfielder has enjoyed a remarkable rise this season and is currently marshalling France’s midfield at Euro 2016.
Excellent holding-midfield players are a rare commodity and the Premier League hasn’t seen a player who can play the role so effectively since Claude Makelele roamed Chelsea’s midfield.
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Makelele revealed his admiration for Kante in an interview with L’Equipe. The former Real Madrid midfielder even admitted he sees a hint of himself in the Leicester man.
And, amid interest from some of Europe’s biggest sides, Makelele thinks Kante has the potential to play for Paris Saint-Germain.
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“For me, he has a great deal he can improve on,” Makelele said, per the Mirror.
“If he continues like this, to work hard, he will become a key player in a big European team. When I imagine him with (PSG midfielder) Marco Verratti, I reckon it would be a real pleasure. He has to aim for that level.”
Makelele: Kante is generous
Kante, who has a release clause of £20 million, was arguably Leicester’s most important player last season. His ability to thwart opponent’s attacks, allowing Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy to get on the ball, meant Claudio Ranieri’s side was so difficult to beat.
“Do you know the most important quality for a holding midfielder? It is generosity. And everyone can see that N’Golo has it,” Makelele added.
"The second thing is positional sense to guarantee the balance of the team. For a player of his age, who is not used to the role, I find him very mature.
“Of course, when I see him, I can see myself, but above all, he has to be himself, and he is doing very well at that. His next aim should be to be recognised as the base of his team.
"His team-mates go on the pitch and say: ‘OK, he is here, he will handle any problems.’ And I have no worries about that because you feel he is happy to be there, he is humble, and he will only be loved by his team-mates.”
Kante shined for France
Makelele was certainly adored at Stamford Bridge. He was an influential member of Jose Mourinho’s teams that won the Premier League in 2004-05 and 2005-06 and that kind of knowledge is hard to find in a player.
Kante will probably be harder to replace than Vardy should he leave this transfer window. The 25-year-old looked right at home during France’s win over Romania in the opening game of Euro 2016 and his stock will only rise if he continues to shine for Les Bleus.
And that’s bad news for Leicester.