Leicester City star N’Golo Kante has won his fair share of admirers in the form of both clubs and individuals over the past 12 months.
The 25-year-old Frenchman has emerged as one of the most sought-after midfielders in world football following his Premier League triumph with the Foxes and runner-up finish with the host nation at Euro 2016.
While there has been no shortage of superlative comments directed at Kante, praise from the man whose name is synonymous with the defensive midfield position surely tops it all.
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Former Chelsea legend Claude Makelele certainly wields a great deal of authority when it comes to assessing which players are capable of excelling in a role commonly referred to as the Makelele role.
The 43-year-old, who is often likened to Kante, has weighed in with his take on the Leicester ace while distancing himself from comparisons between the pair.
“I don’t want N’Golo Kante to be compared with me. Kante can be Kante,” Makelele said, as reported by The Sun.
“I want him to be more than me, but I love to watch him play because you can see in him the joy.
“I love the kind of player like that, who plays for the team.”
Kante – who topped the Premier League with an average of 4.7 tackles won per game last season – has a £20 million release clause in his contract at the King Power Stadium.
Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea have all expressed an interest in signing the combative midfielder, and Makelele believes he needs to join a club of this stature in order to further his career.
“Sometimes you see a team with big players, but for me whenever a team is winning it is because of spirit,” he said.
“He arrived in a good way, now he wants to play in the Champions League. It’s another competition, another stress, just like the national team.
“He needs to get everything from every experience.
“He still has the same way of playing, the same happiness, but he needs to play in a big team.”
Makelele’s old stomping ground – Stamford Bridge – has emerged as the one of most likely destinations Kante will end up should he leave the Premier League champions this summer.
However, according to The Telegraph, Leicester are ready to make the France international their best-paid player to keep him from the clutches of Europe’s leading clubs.
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