The French midfielder N’Golo Kanté has been signed by Chelsea. The 25-year old player costed Chelsea around £30 million. He could play as a central/defensive midfielder. The other players from the current squad who could play in his position are Nemanja Matić, Cesc Fàbregas and John Obi Mikel. He is shorter than the other three. So was the club’s hero Claude Makélélé. So though he can’t help much with crosses and headers, he can contribute enormously in several other areas. Let’s compare him and his colleagues playing in the position on their performance last season.
Kanté has outperformed Matić, Fàbregas and Mikel in every attribute last season by a significant margin.
Tackles: He has attempted more than 50 tackles than Fàbregas. He has done that with a very high percentage of successful tackles too. He has more than 70 successful tackles than any of these three players last season.
Interceptions: He has intercepted as well as all three combined. He has intercepted the ball 4.6 times every 90 minutes. Matić, Fàbregas and Mikel has managed to intercept the ball only 4.8 times every 90 minutes.
Clearances: He has been on level with Matić and Mikel in terms of clearances. This is the only statistic the Chelsea players have matched him.
Blocks: In terms of shots and crosses blocked, all these players have almost performed in the same range. However, the number of passes blocked is where he has performed 33% more than Fàbregas and 100% more than Matić.
Overall, Kanté has had an outstanding season in 2015-16. He had outperformed all the players who could be his competitors for playing positions. If he is to replicate his last season performance, he could form a tremendous partnership with Matić in the central midfield to block the opponents’ attack effectively. I believe he is definitely worth the £30 million spent.