Chelsea's N'Golo Kante flattered by individual praise but determined not to take his eyes off the prize

The 25-year-old is eager not to become distracted as he prepares for the Premier League run-in

Luke Brown
Wednesday 22 March 2017 19:15 GMT
Kante is now a regular for the France international team
Kante is now a regular for the France international team (AFP/Getty)

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Louise Thomas

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N’Golo Kante has said that he is flattered by the praise he has received for his superb performances in recent weeks, but has modestly insisted that he will not let it distract him as Chelsea prepare for the Premier League run-in.

Chelsea signed Kante from Premier League champions Leicester City last summer for £32m and the Frenchman as arguably been the club’s best player this season, helping to drive Antonio Conte’s team to the top of the league.

The 25-year-old is likely to be in contention for the various player of the season awards which will be handed out in the coming weeks, but Kante has said he is only focused on the performance of his team.

“It is true that I receive a lot of praise and that is flattering,” the midfielder said while on international duty, as France prepare for a World Cup qualifier against Luxembourg and a friendly against Spain. “But I try not to let it affect me. The important thing is to end the season well.

“I am really happy with my performances this season and I made the right decision in coming to Chelsea. We are in a good position and we are playing some great football.”

Kante has also revealed that he is aware of the popular ‘Kante facts’ Twitter account, a popular social-media page which tweets amusing – if not entirely true – Kante-based facts. Even former Chelsea defender Marcel Desailly is a fan:

And although he describes the account as “fun”, Kante was eager to reassure French journalists that the account is not an entirely reliable news source.

“My team-mates at Chelsea have told me about the ‘Kante-facts’”, he said. “It is just a bit of fun. I obviously do not cover 30 per cent of the surface of the earth.”

The latest high-profile figure to praise Kante was his national team manager, Didier Deschamps, who has said that he is “one of the best players in the world”.

Deschamps has described Kante as one of the best in the world
Deschamps has described Kante as one of the best in the world (AFP/Getty)

“He's been with us a while. He didn't play all the matches either. It all depends on the system I choose,” Deschamps told a news conference.

“N'Golo was performing well with us. He was with Leicester. He's doing it this year in Chelsea. He will certainly win a second consecutive title in England.

“In his position, he's one of the best players in Europe and the world. I will not complain.

“He is French. He's with us. Obviously he's an important player. He is very efficient in his position. On the top of that, he starts to score goals, it's perfect.”

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