In the most expensive transfer window in Premier League history, English football was awash with currency. After all, Paul Pogba’s Manchester United switch shattered the world record fee no less.
However, Chelsea’s capture of N’Golo Kante has been popularly viewed as one of the finest and most shrewdly executed over the course of the summer.
It’s an opinion that team mate Nemanja Matic clearly shares. In fact, the Serbian has even gone as far as rating the ex-Leicester City over Blues legend Claude Makelele.
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While many expected Antonio Conte to initiate somewhat of a spending spree this summer, the Italian proved incredibly considered with this business.
As for the signing of Kante, not only did Chelsea secure a comparatively light fee of £32 million given the current transfers trends, but they managed to strip the champions of arguably their most integral asset.
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Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy may have soaked up the bulk of the publicity, yet Kante was the engine of the team behind the scenes. Without the 25-year-old’s invaluable influence, the Foxes’ midfield would have been considerably weakened.
With crunching tackles and an outrageous work rate, Chelsea’s backbone has been substantially strengthened.
In light of the transfer and Kante’s fierce style of play, the Frenchman has drawn inevitable comparisons to Makelele.
The ex-Leicester man’s retired compatriot proved a midfield stalwart at Stamford Bridge for five years. Not only this, but the now 43-year-old proved the unsung hero of Real Madrid’s galacticos no less.
However, Matic has taken this comparison to a new level in offering his opinion on whom proves the better player.
According to Sky Sports, the 28-year-old stated: "I know how difficult it is to play that position and I'm very happy because N'Golo is doing very well and is going to be a very important player for us, maybe one of the most important players in this season.
"It is very hard for him and it's going to be hard, but I'm sure that he is ready.
"Many people say that he is the new Makelele, but I don't think so. Makelele was a great player and we all respect him, me especially because I know that position and how it is difficult to play.
"But I think that N'Golo is better than him. He is doing his defensive job very well and with the ball he has some extra quality."
Matic has certainly stuck his neck out with these comments that many supporters will find controversial. Especially given the fact Kante has only displayed such form over a short period of time, it’s a bold claim.
Nevertheless, this shouldn’t serve to devalue the superb move that is Chelsea’s raid for the midfielder. It’s cunning coups such as these that will prove crucial in a title race on which the Blues will undoubtedly have their say.
Do you think N'Golo Kante is a better player than Claude Makelele? Have YOUR say in the comment box below