He’s the favourite to be crowned the Footballer of the Year, and he’s just fired his table-topping team into the last four of the FA Cup. It is a pretty good time to be N’Golo Kante.
In truth, most of the time he’s been in England has been a pretty good time for him, and after his all-action performance and winning goal against Manchester United on Monday night led to Frank Lampard calling him “the best central midfielder in the world”, the Frenchman is a man on the lips of many a football fan.
Basically, EVERYONE likes him.
Well, these reasons are a pretty good start.
He’s ridiculously hard-working
Okay, so the whole “covering the earth” joke has gone a little bit stale now, but still.
The Frenchman’s work-rate is ridiculously high, so much so that you often wonder if there is actually just the one of him on the pitch.
He always seems to look a little down when the final whistle goes at the end of 90 minutes, almost as though he’s been a little bit short changed.
Ask him to play another game there and then, and he probably would.
He doesn’t chase fame
Even after he hit the winner in Chelsea’s FA Cup clash against Manchester United on Monday, Kante almost seemed embarrassed to be accepting both praise and the man of the match award.
There are other players who seem more than happy to lap up whatever accolades they can get after making a five-yard pass, but not the Frenchman.
He doesn’t even have his own emoji, for goodness sake.
You hadn’t heard of him two years ago
Well, alright, maybe you had if you were an expert on the 2014/15 Ligue 1 season, or even French lower division football before that, but Kante’s emergence from relative obscurity really is one of the more remarkable football stories of recent times.
He was playing for Boulogne in the French THIRD tier as recently as the 2012/13 season, before his move to Caen and subsequent promotion to the top-flight in his homeland.
Quite the ascent.
He only has one hairstyle, and it is no-nonsense
Kante has found a look that is working for him, and he’s sticking to it.
Not for him the bleach blond look, or endlessly shaving some sort of pattern into the back and/or sides.
Just a number one all over please, mate.
He’s giving hope to the little guys
Everyone’s heard of a footballer who was apparently “too small” to make it, but here’s 5ft 6ins N’Golo mixing it with the big boys of the Premier League week-in, week-out.
He’s never one to shirk a tackle or to avoid going toe-to-toe with one of his apparently more physical opponents, and as such he’s a hero to little guys the world over.
He basically made the Leicester miracle possible
Look at how far Leicester have fallen off a cliff since they lost Kante to Chelsea in the summer.
Very rarely has the loss of one player been SO damaging to a team, and amount that he’s improved his new club is also evidence of just how good he is.
Of course Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez and others had a say in it, but for the purposes of this list, Kante MADE the Leicester miracle happen, and you’ve got to love him for that.
He looks good in a tux
Given how much of a Bond villain Roman Abramovich looks like then he must have been concerned when he saw Kante in his tux at the London Football Awards recently.
Because not only is he the Premier League’s toughest-tackling, no-nonsense midfielder, but he’s also got a bit of James Bond about him too.