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5 unique qualities that make N’Golo Kante so effective

Tuesday 28th February 2017
Since he came to the Premier League, he's been playing like a man powered by ten fully-charged trailer batteries. N'Golo Kante has been absolutely phenomenal! Just what are the qualities that make Kante so effective?
For a player that looks so small, it's a wonder how N'Golo Kante is able to comfortably win battles against midfielders and attackers who are twice his size. For two consecutive seasons, Kante has proved the best signing for the Premier League clubs who acquired his services.

When he signed for Leicester in 2015, he covered every blade of grass in almost all 37 fixtures he featured in, leading to the metaphorical assertion that ‘75% of the world is covered by water, whilst the rest 25% is covered by N'Golo Kante'. Kante's performances for Leicester helped the Foxes win an unlikely Premier League title and earned him a spot in the Premier League Team of the Season, only missing out on winning the player of the season by whiskers.

In 2016, Kante swapped blue shirts and joined Chelsea and yes, he's been doing for Chelsea exactly what he did for Leicester. The Frenchman is on course to win his second Premier League title in two consecutive years, with two different clubs.

In this piece, I take a look at some of the unique qualities that make N'Golo Kante so outstanding. You can agree or disagree with me in the comments section.

1 – His speed


Kante can run! That's the long and short of it. The number of ground Kante covers per match is quite amazing – the Frenchman covers at least 11 kilometres per game which is usually more than 10% of what the entire Chelsea team covers per match. Kante is a defensive midfielder who can run and cover more ground than a gazelle. Whereas most defensive midfielders concentrate more on reading the game and making interceptions, Kante has the ability to chase down opponents and winning back possession – it's what makes him stand out.

2 – His immense physical strength


Good luck to you if you intend on outmuscling N'Golo Kante, on any day. The former Caen man weighs just 68kg and is only 169cm tall, but he shows the strength a man who is twice that size. Kante is strong! This guy was built for Premier League battles. Kante's immense physical strength has seen him win 147 duels in his 25 Premier League appearances, per Premier league stats. Kante complements a dying breed of physically strong defensive midfielders in the Premier League.

3 – His game reading ability


He's not all aggressive and no brains. Kante has the admirable ability of carefully reading the game before putting in that vital tackle – we call it ‘football sense' where I'm from. Of his 91 tackles so far in the Premier League, he's managed to win 66% while making 58 interceptions – you can't post those numbers if you can't read the game with a sixth sense.

The ability to read the game is what made Sergio Busquets one of the best holding midfielders in the world, however, Kante now tops that list.

4 – His character


If Chelsea were to pay every player according to his work-rate, Kante would perhaps be the highest earner at Chelsea today – he just never stops working for the team. It's a quality that's lacking in a lot of defensive-minded players today. That ability to help your teammates fight for and win back balls as well as provide cover for them when they're out of position isn't generic.
Steve Walsh, the scout who recruited Kante for Leicester, talked to Everton official website about players' showing great character, he said:
“Character is very important and you can find out a lot about players when you are watching them on the pitch”

“It's not necessarily about what you do when you've got the ball, a lot of the time it's about what you do when you don't have it. Are they prepared to roll up their sleeves and put a shift in for the team?”

5 – He's got talent


Talent just sums up everything. If Kante weren't so talented, he won't be any better than Michael Carrick, Francis Coquelin, Victor Wanyama or any other defensive midfielder he constantly outshines. His talent is what really sets N'Golo Kante apart.

By my assertion, N'Golo Kante is the most talented and the best defensive midfielder in the world, hands down! However, the above qualities are what makes him who he is.

Kingsley Ukpai

Kingsley is a football aficionado who craves to read, watch, play and write about the greatest team sport ever known to man. If you're talking football he'll be keen to listen to what you have to say. Loves to play Fantasy Football too.


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