The Blues boss admits to being unaware of the French midfielder before arriving in England, but is now a big fan of what he brings to the side
N’Golo Kante may have been one of the star turns in Leicester City’s remarkable Premier League title win, but Antonio Conte has admitted to being unaware of the France international prior to his arrival at Stamford Bridge.
It did not take long, though, for the Italian to get up to speed, with Chelsea luring the 25-year-old away from the King Power Stadium in a £32 million deal.
Conte now concedes that the Blues have secured themselves the “complete midfielder”, with Kante having shown during his short time in west London that he is about much more than merely breaking up play and making life easier for the more creative talents around him.
“Did I know him before I came here? The answer is no. I do now,” said Conte.
“I think he’s a complete midfielder, not only a defensive midfielder.
“I like when N’Golo goes to press the play in the system we are playing now, I like it a lot. N’Golo is very good.
“I remember before the game against Leicester, many people said that he is a different player compared to last year, when he played for them.
“But I said N’Golo is playing very well at the moment and we are very pleased to have him here in the side playing for us.”
Kante has impressed alongside Nemanja Matic in the Chelsea engine room, and opened his goal account for the club in the Blues’ recent 4-0 drubbing of Manchester United.
He will get another opportunity to impress on Sunday when Conte’s men travel to St Mary’s to take on Southampton.