Chelsea signed Kante from Premier League champions Leicester City last summer after the Frenchman dazzled in the middle of the park for the Foxes in what was his first season in England.
The 26-year-old has gone on to do the same at Stamford Bridge, and is now one of the hot favourites to be named the PFA Player of the Year.
Azpilicueta says he admires how quickly Kante has been able to adapt to the demands of the English top-flight and believes he is a key reason why Chelsea are on course to winning the Premier League title in May.
"He’s a great player who has adapted very quickly to playing here – people forget it’s only his second season in England," Azpilicueta said of Kante in an extensive interview with The Guardian.
"You can only admire what he did last season and what he’s doing this season.
"He covers so much ground and he’s fundamental. His work-rate is incredible, not just in games but in every single training session.
"He was a vital piece in the puzzle for the manager and the club did fantastic work in signing him. Moreover, they did it early. It wasn’t last minute.
"They brought him in early so that he had time to train with the team and adapt, which he did quickly. I think that’s very important. His performances have been fantastic. He started well and he has kept getting better."