'Travesty' if Chelsea's N'Golo Kante doesn't win Player of the Year award, says Robbie Savage

Vaishali Bhardwaj
Evening Standard
Gong: N'Golo Kante was named Premier League Player of the Year at the 2017 London Football Awards: John Phillips/Getty Images
Gong: N'Golo Kante was named Premier League Player of the Year at the 2017 London Football Awards: John Phillips/Getty Images

Robbie Savage believes it will be a "travesty" if Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante doesn't win the PFA Player of the Year award this season.

Kante has hit the ground running since joining Chelsea from champions Leicester City last summer, cementing his place in Antonio Conte's midfield and shining in his holding role.

Indeed, the France international scored the only goal against Manchester United on Monday night to send Chelsea into the semi-finals of the FA Cup, which resulted in club legend Frank Lampard labelling Kante as the "best central midfield player in the world right now".

And Savage believes Kante should be the clear lead to be named the Player of the Year this season above the likes of his teammates such as Eden Hazard and Diego Costa because of his consistency in the Premier League over the past two years.

Writing in his column for The Mirror, Savage said: "N’Golo Kante deserves to win Footballer of the Year by a country mile, and it would be a travesty if he didn’t.

"Anyone who had lingering doubts about Kante’s influence on Leicester winning the title last year has surely dispelled them after seeing his influence on Chelsea’s procession this season.

"Kante should become the first player to win the Premier League in consecutive seasons with two different clubs – and he has made two defences took almost impenetrable in the process.

"At Leicester, he was such a reliable minder for Wes Morgan, Robert Huth, Danny Simpson and Christian Fuchs that they kept 12 clean sheets in 18 games before the title was won. No disrespect, but he helped to make champions out of average players.

"He also helped Danny Drinkwater to win three England caps, which he probably deserved, although he has not been as effective without his old sidekick this season.

"And at Chelsea, Conte’s three central defenders and two wing-backs have all flourished with Kante as their bodyguard.

"There is more than a touch of Claude Makelele about the way Kante screens his defence, but it is his mobility which sets him apart."

He added: "Kante is never going to be a prolific goalscorer, but his bodyguard act is so complete that he gives attacking players a licence to prosper higher up the pitch.

"Kante is the ‘everywhere’ man. He is so good at what he does it seems impossible that he only does the workload of one player."

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