It’s crazy to think that most people reading this now wouldn’t have even heard of N’Golo Kante three-and-a-half years ago.
When Leicester City announced the signing of the French midfielder from Caen in a deal worth £5.6 million in the summer of 2015, very few football fans in England had heard of him.
Sky Sports News even used the video game Football Manager to inform their viewers of Kante’s attributes. Seriously.
For those who are interested in that kind of thing, Kante had 13/20 for dribbling, 17 for acceleration, 14 for technique and 18 for work rate on the game.
Leicester fans may have been cautiously optimistic about Kante after seeing those statistics, but he ended up exceeding all expectations at the King Power Stadium.
At the end of his first season in England, Kante had helped Leicester win the Premier League title in what will always be remembered as one of football’s most remarkable fairytales.
He then moved to Chelsea for £32 million and won another Premier League winners’ medal, securing the PFA’s Premier League Player of the Year award in the process.
A year later he helped France lift the World Cup in Russia.
It’s been an extraordinarily rapid rise to stardom for the endearing 27-year-old, who was described by Frank Lampard as the “best central midfield player in the world” last year.
But it’s a mystery how none of Europe’s big clubs spotted Kante before Leicester’s scouts did.
A video has emerged from the 2014-15 campaign, titled ‘The Match That Made Leicester Buy N’Golo Kante’, and it shows that Kante has always been a machine.
ScoutNationHD, who uploaded the video, explain: “In this episode we see N'Golo Kanté in his greatest performance during the 2014/15 season against Marseille. His team; Caen were newly promoted from Ligue 2 and they came into Stade Vélodrome losing 2-0 with 20 mins left.
“Marseille had only lost once all season at home. They then rallied back to win 2-3! He helped Caen stay in Ligue 1, finishing 13th place. Leicester City signed him that summer for €9M and well, the rest is history!”
You can watch the brilliant video, which has racked up over 1.5 million views in around two weeks, here...
His statistic from the game, per ScoutNationHD, were as follows…
78% Pass success
7/10 Tackles completed
3 Chances created
2 Successful dribbles
His eye-catching performance convinced Leicester to sign him and the rest is history.