N’Golo Kante has beaten Chelsea teammate Eden Hazard to the PFA Player of the Year Award
N’Golo Kante has beaten Chelsea teammate
Eden Hazard to the PFA Player of the Year Award.
Kante has been a revelation in his first season at Stamford Bridge following his move from Leicester and looks set to become the first player to win back-to-back Premier League titles with different teams.
The France international has missed only one game so far this season, through suspension, and has provided steel, industry and athleticism at the heart of a Chelsea midfield which protects the second meanest defence in the country.
Kante was presented with the award at the Grosvenor Hotel in London on Sunday evening.
Meanwhile, Tottenham’s Dele Alli, who scored in Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final defeat against Chelsea, won the PFA Young Player of the Year Award for a second season in a row.
Manchester City’s Lucy Bronze won the women’s player of the year award for the second time having also won it in 2014, and Birmingham’s Jess Carter topped the voting in the women’s young player category.
Kante has played a key role in Chelsea’s surge to the top of the league this season and is renowned as a tireless box-to-box competitor who helps break up opposition attacks and initiate them for his own side.
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte joked after another commanding display by Kante in a win over West Ham last month that he is struggling to find a fault in his game.
‘He made five mistakes. He has to improve in this. He has to improve,’ Conte said.
‘I am joking. But I have to find one situation to tell him to improve. He’s playing really well.
‘He has great stamina, great quality and we are working to improve that quality. I’m pleased for him.’
Kante is modest about his outstanding ability, as former Leicester director of football Steve Walsh revealed.
Walsh, speaking to the Sunday Times, said that Kante had approached him about playing for Mali, the country of his parents’ birth, last season during Leicester’s incredible and unlikely title triumph. Walsh told Kante he should represent France, but the player asked whether he was good enough.
Walsh said: ‘You’ll get in any team, mate. If we had a World XI, you’d be in it.’