What a couple of years it has been for N'Golo Kante.
After initially arriving from relative obscurity, the diminutive midfielder has become the first player to win back-to-back Premier League titles with different teams since Eric Cantona.
The 26-year-old followed up on his eye-catching debut campaign in English football at Leicester with another brilliant series of consistent performances for Chelsea.
He also picked up almost every individual accolade going during the recent awards season.
The nature of his position on the pitch and his nationality has meant comparisons with another former Blues favourite Claude Makelele have been frequently made over the course of the last nine months or so.
Whether he likes it or not, in the eyes of many supporters Kante is 'the new Makelele'.
But what does Makelele think about the comparisons?
Well perhaps surprisingly, the former French international has played down Kante's achievements to date.
Makelele, now the assistant manager at Swansea, has admitted that the true test for his successor will come next season when Chelsea will also be competing in the Champions League.
"At the moment Kante is special and one of the best midfielders," Makelele told Reuters, as per The Sun.
“The problem is, I played 25 years in football at this level and comparisons are being made in a bad way."
“This season he did not play in the Champions League. Every four days there will be games.
“With the national team there will be games. There will be a lot of games. He needs to get that experience.”
Kante's all-action style will certainly be put to the test next season when he is required to play three matches in a week and managing his workload will be something else Antonio Conte has to consider.
Meanwhile, Makelele, who spent five years at Stamford Bridge between 2003-08 and made over 200 appearances, remains optimistic Chelsea latest French holding midfielder can become even better than he was.
He added: "When he is at that level, he will not run for 90 minutes all the time.
"He will need to listen to the rhythm, the way he plays. This will be key for him. I hope this will be the situation. I hope he does better than I did in my career."
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