Football News

Hazard and Vardy stories underline why Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante is the ultimate teammate

By Harry Edwards

Published: 16:59, 13 September 2019 | Updated: 20:12, 29 September 2019

Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy has revealed his teammates had to convince N’Golo Kante not to run to training.

Widely regarded as one of the best defensive midfielders in Europe the 28-year-old Frenchman played a key part in Leicester’s shock Premier League title win in 2015/16.

How good is Kante? Five things to know…

  • N’Golo Kante signed for Leicester City in 2015, helping them to win the Premier League.
  • He then joined Chelsea a year later, winning the Premier League once more.
  • Kante has also won the World Cup, FA Cup and Europa League since 2015.
  • Former Leicester City teammate Jamie Vardy has revealed Kante once contemplated running to training as part of an additional session.
  • And, according to reports, former Chelsea stars Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois want Kante to join them at Real Madrid.

His performances earned the Frenchman a move to Chelsea with whom he won the league the following season and remains indispensable to the Blues.

One of the many positive things mentioned about Kante is his energy and commitment to football, capable of outrunning many players across 90 minutes.

And Vardy, who teamed up with Kante at Leicester, has admitted the Frenchman once contemplated running to training as part of an extra session for himself.

“What a pleasure it was to play alongside N’Golo!” Vardy told L’Equipe.

“He is an adorable guy alongside being a fantastic footballer: when we lost the ball, wherever that happened on the pitch, boom, he would appear and win it back for us.

“In training, it was so easy for him that I was convinced that he intentionally gave the ball away sometimes just to enjoy winning it back again.

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“One day he said to us that he was seriously considering running to the training centre each day, which came from the fact that he would always add a little running session for himself.

“In the moment, we were all a bit taken aback and convinced him not to. In any case, each time that we saw him arrive at training with his Mini Cooper, we were reassured.”

Chelsea have had to make do without Kante for parts of their 2019/20 campaign so far, with the Frenchman suffering with injury problems.

Initially Kante was ruled out due to an injury which he had initially played through in last season’s Europa League triumph, before also succumbing to an ankle injury he played through in the Super Cup final.

Hazard wants Kante at Madrid according to reports

While one former teammate has praised Kante for his fantastic footballing ability, another reportedly wants the Frenchman to join him at his new club.

Eden Hazard left Chelsea in June 2019 after seven years with the Blues, finally signing for Real Madrid following constant links.

The Belgian is yet to feature for Los Blancos in a competitive game, with a thigh injury having ruled him out so far.

But, according to reports in The Athletic, both Hazard and Thibaut Courtois – another ex-Blue – have remarked to friends that Kante is the player Real Madrid are missing.

This comes after Hazard’s remarks, naming Kante as the best defensive midfielder in the world in 2018, shortly before Belgium and France faced off at the World Cup.

“I play all year with Kante,’ he told beIN Sports.

“He is the best in the world in his position. When he is at his best, you have a 95 per cent chance to win the game.”