Kante was one of the heroes of Leicester City’s miraculous championship success last term, and while his former club have wilted, he’s continued in his excellent vein of form after sealing a big-money summer move to Stamford Bridge.
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The Pensioners currently sit 10 points ahead of Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League table, and with 10 matches to play, Kante appears set to secure a second consecutive title.
Boufal is under no doubt about the French international’s value to Antonio Conte’s side.
“One player that I like and live, as a man and a footballer, is N’Golo Kante,” said the Moroccan in an interview with BeIn Sports. “For me he’s the best; humble, talented, hard-working.”
Boufal isn’t the first player in recent weeks to praise Kante to the hilt, with former teammate Riyad Mahrez insisting in a recent interview that the 25-year-old deserved as much credit as anyone for Leicester’s title success.
“We can see what he’s doing at Chelsea,” Mahrez told SFR Sport. “Last year, everyone was talking about me or Vardy, but Kante was on the same level.
“He’s an incredible player,” he added. “I had already played against him when I was at Le Havre, but I didn’t think that he was quite as good before he arrived in England.”
It’s not difficult to see why Kante has been the subject of such high praise this term; he’s average 3.7 tackles and 2.4 interceptions per match in the Premier League so far this term, protecting the Blues defence with aplomb.
While Kante continues to establish himself as one of the EPL’s outstanding individuals, Morocco’s Boufal is yet to unequivocally convince of his class, despite a few sublime moments since joining Southampton from OGC Nice last summer.
The 23-year-old has struggled with injury – and missed the Atlas Lions’ campaign at the Nations Cup in Gabon earlier this year – but while there have been flashes of brilliance, a return of one goal and zero assists in 17 EPL outings is an underwhelming return.
“I am well aware that there are steps to be taken before reaching the top European level,” the playmaker conceded.
Southampton, currently tenth in the Premier League table with 33 points after 27 matches, host local rivals Bournemouth on Saturday.
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