N’Golo Kante was magnificent for Leicester City last season and was a little unfortunate to miss out on the PFA’s Premier League Player of the Year award.
The French midfielder thoroughly deserved his £32 million summer move to Chelsea, although life at Stamford Bridge hasn’t exactly been a bed of roses for the player so far.
The Blues are now without a win in three Premier League matches - following a draw against Swansea City and defeats to Liverpool and Arsenal - and Kante has come in for some criticism in recent weeks.
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The indefatigable midfielder - or so we thought, anyway - was by no means the only Chelsea player who underperformed during Saturday’s 3-0 defeat to Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.
The Mirror handed Kante a 4/10 rating, which was about par for Antonio Conte’s men at the weekend.
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Video: Kante outrun by referee Michael Oliver
However, there was one moment, shortly before half-time with Arsenal already 2-0 up, that is inexcusable on Kante’s part.
The Frenchman was turned by Mesut Ozil and then half-heartedly ran back to his own half.
Seconds later and Arsenal were 3-0 up.
Kante was criticised for his work ethic and rightly so - and it now transpires that the former Foxes star was even outsprinted by referee Michael Oliver.
The midfielder had a head-start on Oliver but it was the Premier League match official who arrived inside Thibaut Courtois’ penalty area first.
Kante may have eased off a little after Alexis Sanchez chipped his pass towards the unmarked Ozil at the back-post, although the footage unfortunately doesn’t show how fast he was moving during the Gunners’ swift counter-attack.
Makelele: Kante needs time
It’s still early days for Kante at Chelsea, who is still adjusting to a new team and a new way of working under Conte.
The majority of fans remain optimistic that Kante can become their new version of Claude Makelele, who is a fan of his compatriot.
“It is a position where it is difficult to play,” Makelele said of Kanté’s deep-lying midfield role, per the Independent. “You must be a leader. You must work with your team-mates in midfield.
“I like N'Golo Kanté, but is he better than me at this I do not know. He still needs time to fully learn the job, to learn about football”
Is N’Golo Kante as good as we all think he is - or is he overrated? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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