Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante has admitted that he thought he still needed to stay in France to develop prior to joining Leicester City in 2015 and was actually keen on a move to Marseille.
Kante was a complete unknown outside his home country less than two years ago and had only played one season of top flight football in his career after helping Caen earn promotion to Ligue 1 from France's second tier in 2014.
"Among the clubs that most wanted to recruit me were Marseille and Leicester," he has now revealed in an interview with Canal + while on duty with the French national team.
Adding, "I thought I had to go through a stage in France," Kante explained that Marseille qualifying for the Champions League in previous years had struck a chord with him, while he also namedropped a number of his favourite players who had passed through.
"I remember the generation of [Mamadou] Niang, [Franck] Ribery and [Samir] Nasri and it was a team that I liked, especially in the Champions League," he said.
Kante would of course help drive Leicester towards the most unlikely of fairy tale Premier League title triumphs during his debut season in England and has done more of the same since joining Chelsea in a high profile £32m transfer last summer.
His appraisal of his career achievements so far, though?
"I still haven't done anything in football," he said.
Kante is the hot favourite to sweep the end of season awards, particularly PFA Players' Player of the Year, as voted for by fellow professionals. But he thinks there are at least three more deserving individuals of that honour at Chelsea alone, and several elsewhere as well.
"There are quite a few players in the Premier League who deserve this award. There is [Eden] Hazard, Diego Costa and David Luiz in my team," he commented.
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