N'Golo Kante set to face his former club Leicester when Chelsea travel to Foxes in EFL Cup… but how does midfielder compare to last season?
- N’Golo Kante signed for Chelsea for £32million in the summer window
- He is set to face his old club for the first time since his big-money move
- Midfielder Kante was included in last season’s PFA Team of the Year
- Chelsea face Leicester at the King Power Stadium in the EFL Cup
Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante could be in line to face his old club Leicester for the first time on Tuesday night.
Kante was branded one of the best signings of last season along with Riyad Mahrez, after both made a marked impact on the Foxes winning the title.
Both Kante and Mahrez made it into the PFA Team of the Year last season, alongside Jamie Vardy and Wes Morgan.
Kante won the Premier League with the Foxes last season and was in the PFA Team of the Year
Antonio Conte will be hoping the France international can have the same effect for the London club in their bid to win silverware this season. Chelsea sit in fifth place in the league table and their new manager will be looking to mount a serious title challenge.
The Chelsea boss signed Kante for £32million in July, a year after the midfielder joined Leicester from Caen for just £5.6m. The comparison from last season to this shows just how his role has changed under his new boss.
Here, Sportsmail analyses how his role has changed and how he has adapted to life at Stamford Bridge.
Kante cost Chelsea £32m, but how does this season compare to last season for the midfielder?
Kante’s passing accuracy last season was 81.64 per cent; at Chelsea it is a massive 94.06
So far the 25-year-old has been used to free up Chelsea’s attacking players and keep the flow of play in midfield. He has made 303 passes at an average of 60.6 per game. This is 20 more than last season and shows the difference in playing styles of the two teams.
His passing precision has also been relentless this season. Completing 94 per cent of his passes, Kante has been vital for Conte’s team in keeping possession and unleashing the likes of Eden Hazard and Diego Costa. He only managed a passing success rate of 81.6 per cent last year and although his passing range may not be the biggest, his volume and accuracy are crucial in the heart of midfield.
In the attacking third of the field however he has been non-existent for Chelsea. He has not managed an assist in his five Premier League games so far and created only two chances. The Frenchman managed four assists and 30 chances last season for the Foxes.
Kante (left) has been used to free up Chelsea’s attacking players in his first five league games
Antonio Conte is getting Kante on the ball a lot, and he is making over 60 passes a game
|N’Golo Kante Premier League||2016/17||2015/16|
|Total Passes Made||303||1449|
|Pass Accuracy (per cent)||94.06||81.64|
|Distance Covered (KM)||56.89||387.6|
Leicester’s title-winning campaign was built on sound defending and blistering counter attacks.
Kante’s statistics show his defensive duties for Claudio Ranieri’s side were far greater than this season.
He completed an average of 4.7 tackles and 4.2 interceptions per game last season. His role of protecting the back four meant that his defensive abilities were crucial in the team’s success.
Comparing that to this season, Kante has only managed 3.4 tackles and just 1.6 interceptions per game.
Although Chelsea enjoy more possession than Leicester and spend less time defending, Kante has been tasked as the only deep-lying midfielder in Conte’s formation.
Kante is making less tackles with Chelsea than he did at Leicester, but they do defend less
Kante has often been left at the base of Chelsea’s 4-2-3-1 formation this season and has had to compensate by upping his work rate. The midfielder has averaged 11.4 km per game this season to protect the Chelsea defence.
This is almost a kilometre more per game than he managed last season, when Danny Drinkwater shared much of the hard-working defensive duties with him.
On Tuesday night, Kante will get his chance to prove how much Claudio Ranieri’s side have missed him in the third round of the EFL Cup.