N'Golo Kante explains major difference between Chelsea this season and Leicester last season

N'Golo Kante

We're 25 games into the 2016-17 Premier League season and it's easy forget that Chelsea picked up just ten points from their first six games.

Following Antonio Conte's decision to switch to a 3-4-3 formation, his team went on a record-equaling consecutive winning run and currently find themselves eight points clear at the top of the table.

To this point, Chelsea have been the best team in the league, and stars like Nemanja Matic, Eden Hazard and top scorer Diego Costa have all reached the levels they were at when the Blues won the 2014-15 title.

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In addition to the impact of the ex-Juventus and Italy manager, defenders David Luiz and Marcos Alonso have been outstanding since arriving in the summer transfer window, but another signing whose undoubtedly been top-class is N'Golo Kante.

What Kant-he do?

The midfield dynamo arrived in English football in August 2015 and it was his energy and tenacity which acted as the driving force behind Leicester City's remarkable 2015-16 campaign, as they were crowned champions of England.

Kante's incredible work-rate and defensive awareness is highlighted by the fact that he's made more tackles than anyone else over the past three Premier League seasons - even though he's only been involved in the last two!

Leicester City v Everton - Premier League

The 25-year-old is now an established France international, and given Chelsea's tenth-placed finish last term, he and Luiz (at Paris Saint-Germain) are the only players at Stamford Bridge who experienced what it was like to lead from the front last season.

Despite everyone expecting them to eventually drop off, Leicester held their nerve in last year's run-in to secure a historic title triumph, and Kante is hoping to do the same this term with his new club.

15-16 Leicester v 16-17 Chelsea

The Frenchman could win the Premier League for two seasons in a row, and with two different teams, but he's explained the key difference which makes Chelsea's current situation so different to Leicester's a year ago.

Kante told the club's official website: "It’s totally different. Last season, we (Leicester) were top at this stage, but we didn’t expect to be there. We just wanted to keep our position for the longest possible time.

"We did not know if we were going to do it because there were a lot of teams behind us. Here at Chelsea it’s different. It’s a club of champions. We want to win everything and always be at the top. It’s nothing special, we just try to win every game.

FBL-ENG-PR-LEICESTER-CHELSEA

"At Chelsea I think about 80 or 90 per cent of the team have won something, either at Chelsea or elsewhere. You can see people are not getting carried away because nothing is done yet."

How does Kante keep on running?

Kante, who's missed just one league game through injury in the past four-and-a-half seasons, also discussed how he's able to keep his fitness levels up and work at such a high intensity.

"I think there are some things you can control and some other things you can’t," Kante pointed out. "Me, I just try to work on my ‘invisible training’, as we call it in French – things away from the pitch and the training ground.

Chelsea v Arsenal - Premier League

"I try to sleep very well, to eat very well and to do the best for my health and my body. Sometimes you are more tired, but this is football.

"We play often, we sometimes have three games a week, and you have to manage your fitness well. Then before the game I try to think about my job, and when I am on the pitch I want to do the best I am able to.

"I don’t think about other things, the crowd, the referee, the other players. I am just focused on what I have to do. There are some who don’t get the chance to play and I know that."

How good do YOU think Kante has been, both for Leicester last season and Chelsea this season? Is he the key behind his teams' successes? Have YOUR say in the comments box below!

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