Fan told Middlesbrough to scout N'Golo Kante in 2013, two years before he joined Leicester

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N'Golo Kante is one of the best defensive midfielders in the world, but his route to the top was far from easy. 

In 2012, the Frenchman was playing in his country's third division with Boulogne, before he moved to Caen at the age of 22. 

There, he played every match as his team were promoted into Ligue 1, where they finished 14th the following season. 

It was during that campaign that Kante caught the eye of Leicester City and the rest, as they say, is history. 

Over the next four years, he won two Premier League titles, one with the Foxes before joining Chelsea, the FA Cup, the Europa League and of course, the World Cup. 

But Kante's career path could have been very different if Middlesbrough had taken the advice of one of their fans.

Back in 2013, diehard Boro fan Dennis Abbott had been casually scouting the midfielder and he tweeted the club telling them to check out the player for themselves. 

"@Boro scouts: tell Tony #Mowbray to check out #Caen midfielder Ngolo #Kante before #Wenger gets him. Top top player," he wrote six years ago. 

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What makes the situation even more incredible, is that Abbott actually got a response from Middlesbrough. 

The two parties exchanged a few tweets that ultimately ended with Boro saying their staff will take a look. 

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Talk about one that got away. We'll never know if the Championship side ever really sent their scouts to France, but let's be honest, they probably didn't. 

Eventually, it was Leicester who snapped up Kante for just £5.6 million before he went on to take the Premier League by storm. 

Even the £32 million Chelsea spent to secure his services one year later seems like a bargain.

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But just imagine how little money Middlesbrough would have had to pay way back in 2013 if only they'd listened to one eagle-eyed fan.   

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