Laurent Koscielny has hailed the impact of France team-mate N’Golo Kante during the Leicester City midfielder’s first season in England.
Kante proved a revelation after being signed from Caen last August, helping the Foxes win the Premier League title against all odds.
The 25-year-old, who is being tipped for a move away from King Power Stadium, could even find himself catapulted into the starting XI for Didier Deschamps’ hosts at Euro 2016, France having lost Lassana Diarra to a knee injury.
“For his first season in England… he showed he was one of the [league’s] great midfielders,” Koscielny told a media conference.
“He intercepted a lot of balls, he can [play] box to box, make assists.
“He’s very quiet, very calm, he’s in his own little world but when he is on the field, he is able to put pressure on his opponents.”
Kante’s Leicester colleague Jamie Vardy is also in the spotlight, the England striker having been heavily linked with a move to join Koscielny at Arsenal.
“He shows that everything is possible in football,” Koscielny said of Vardy, who climbed from non-league football to become a Premier League winner.
“At 29 years old, he became a top scorer and champion of England. He is a formidable striker, like his [England] team-mates [Harry] Kane and [Daniel] Sturridge.
“I do not particularly know him but he helped his team to make [it] a great season.”
France kick-off the tournament against Romania in Paris on Friday.