Connect in the back of the net

Chelsea have officially confirmed that they have reached a mutual agreement with Leicester City for the transfer of defensive midfielder N’Golo Kante.

Although the fee remains undisclosed as both clubs are yet to release the official figures, Sky Sports sources reveal that the deal cost slightly in excess of £30 million.

The 25-year old was for all intents and purposes unknown at the time of his arrival from French side Caen in the summer of 2015, but he proved to be a pivotal player on his maiden season as he inspired the Foxes to their first ever Premier League title.

In the 37 appearances he made for Leicester, the France international registered a total of 175 tackles and 156 interceptions- the highest of any Premier League player for the 2015/16 season.

Nonetheless, despite his outstanding exploits for the Foxes, Kante was maligned in many quarters during the just concluded European Championship as the Les Bleus gaffer- Didier Deschamps- nonchalantly preferred to start Moussa Sissoko ahead of the Premier League winner.

With Antonio Conte already in charge at the Bridge, here are three reasons why N’Golo Kante is a good signing for Chelsea.

 

Long term prospect

Massive changes are expected to take place in the backroom over the course of the summer following the appointment of Antonio Conte as manager.

Similar to most top clubs, a monumental exit is imminent as deadwood will be released while essential players will be brought in to help the new manager’s cause.

N’Golo Kante becomes the second acquisition after Michy Batshuayi, and the first of many marquee signings as the Italian looks to rebuild and reinforce changes into the whole squad in his own stature and liking.  

Unlike the Galacticos, Antonio Conte’s project may not have a name yet, but that notwithstanding, N’Golo Kante will be a part of it.

With such a high profile manager like Conte, who won three successive Serie A titles with Juventus, and longevity assured having been offered a five year deal, there was only going to be one answer for the offer…An absolute yes!

 

Fits into the style of play

One of the most alluring reasons why Kante opted to join the Blues- despite Claudio Ranieri’s keen interest to retain the integral midfielder- is because of the presence of Antonio Conte.

His defensive oriented style of play- which is a given putting into account his Italian origin- coupled with fast breaking counter attacks is a system than Kante will fit into with unerring accuracy.

 

World class signing

N’Golo Kante may not be the tallest, but his icy tenacity and work ethic is second to none.

In him, Chelsea have a selfless, soft spoken bloke: but his kindness shouldn’t be misconstrued for weakness, as the former Leicester man is a hard tackler who can never shy away from putting a foot out.

Given that Jamie Vardy rejected a move to Arsenal while Riyad Mahrez is seemingly on his way out, how will the champions cope with the loss of such key players?

 

Written by Brian Humphrey

Follow Brian on Twitter @brihum

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