Friday, April 20, 2018

N’Golo Kante: The architect of Leicester City’s success

Milos Markovic in Editorial, English Premier League 16 Feb 2016

Quiet and hard-working / Image via

Quiet and hard-working / Image via

Claudio Ranieri’s Leicester City are having a dream season in the Premier League which has seen Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy rise to prominence with their impressive displays, goals and assists.

However, it is another member of Claudio Ranieri’s side who deserves great credit for the team’s successful campaign in the league – N’Golo Kante.

As Vardy and Mahrez earn the plaudits and hit the limelight, French-born midfielder is doing all of the dirty work behind his teammates. Silent performer has left his teammates grab all the headlines with their goalscoring exploits in Leicester’s amazing title charge which sees Foxes stand at 3/1 to lift the Premier League trophy at the end of the season.

The ball-winning midfielder has been a huge revelation ever since his arrival to the King Power Stadium from Caen last summer. With a transfer of £5.6 million, the 24-year-old Kante has been one of the bargains of the season, who has seen a drastic rise in his value over the course of the campaign.

A Dream

His rise to prominence is a proper dream story which will teach you that hard work and perseverance do pay off.

N’Golo is one of the nine children in the Kante family, who came to France from Mali. With football as his favourite pastime, N’Golo joined JS Souresnes where he fast-tracked his way through the youth ranks and into the senior team at the age of 19.

US Boulogne snapped him and gave him the professional debut in Championat National, the third tier in French Football in 2011. Following his two-year spell at the club, Kante moved to Caen in 2013 and went on to play 38 games helping his Ligue 2 side to the third-place finish and promotion to Ligue 1.

In August 2015, Kante made a move to the Premier League having agreed a four-year deal with Leicester City.

Rise to Prominence

The French midfielder has seen his rise to prominence simultaneous to his club’s, and Kante has been the mainstay in Ranieri’s team this season, earning rave reviews for his battling performances.

His ability to regain possession in the centre of the pitch has been vital to Leicester City, while his tireless strides up and down the turf have also been one of the main aspects of his game.

Described as religious, humble and shy, Kante is not shy when it comes to going upfront and running forward with the ball at his feet, while he is always there to help Leicester’s backline in defence duties.

His reading of the play is impressive and Kante is someone who always knows where the ball will go. His overall energy on the field, awareness and strength have been much praised during the season.


N’Golo Kante was one of the best players once again at the weekend in Leicester City’s unfortunate last-gasp defeat at the Emirates stadium.

The 24-year-old has become the first Premier League player to reach 100 interceptions this season, according to EA Sports. Before the Arsenal game he had made 17 more interceptions than his closest challenger Aston Villa’s Idrissa Gueye.

Despite his diminutive physique, N’Golo Kante is a proper machine, which never stops running, a player who is never afraid to throw a tackle or get into a challenge.

Self-educated footballer, who never went through a football academy learned his trade on the streets of Paris and his unbreakable spirit is inspiring.

Claudio Ranieri did play an important in his football education, however, as the Italian’s tactical approach and 4-4-2 system has allowed N’Golo Kante to fully showcase his ability and quality.


The 24-year-old midfielder has attracted a lot of attention with his sublime performances and even Arsene Wenger spoke of his admiration towards the French player, who could this summer make what would be the biggest step in his career so far.

Namely, N’Golo Kante is being touted for a call-up to the French national team and could be awarded with a chance to represent his country at the 2016 European Championship finals.

Son to Mali-born parents, N’Golo had received calls to represent the African nation in the past, but claimed he was not interested in international football.

Still, he remains indecisive over the final call as Didier Deschamps is reportedly considering the option of including him to the French Euro 2016 set-up.

“For the moment, I haven’t taken a decision. We will see what happens, I am concentrating on my club,” he said.

There is no doubt that playing for the national team would be the best reward possible for the quiet, hard-working boy, who made it through the demanding football world all by himself.


Milos Markovic

Formerly a Chief Editor at the largest sports site in Serbia, Milos Markovic is an avid football writer who contributes to a variety of online football magazines - most prominently and His feature articles, editorials, interviews and match analyses have provided informed opinion and views, helping the football aficionados keep up to date on relevant events in world football.



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