During an interview with the Times, reported Chelsea target Declan Rice revealed he looks up to N’Golo Kante.
As reported by Matt Law in his Chelsea briefing for the Telegraph, Rice is wanted by Blues boss Frank Lampard, who doesn’t currently possess a natural holding player like the England international.
Chelsea have strength in depth, particularly in the midfield areas, but N’Golo Kante is as close as they have to a holding midfielder, and quite frankly, he isn’t one.
Nonetheless, Rice has revealed that he takes inspiration from the Frenchman when focusing on his own game and his personal development in that role.
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Rice told the Times:
“The main one I’ve always watched is Kanté in my position.”
“The way he protects the back four, the way he intercepts, always in position. I think I’m fairly good at that but there are still things I can do that can take me to the next level.”
“Sometimes in games I get sucked out of position a little bit, attracted to the ball. I’m so enthusiastic to get the ball back for the team, I’m probably just better off saving my legs sometimes. I do more running than I should, put it that way.”
“I’m so enthusiastic just to go and win the ball back where pretty much everything would come through me anyway if I stood right in the middle. That’s what [Sergio] Busquets and Kanté do.”
For Rice to be learning from Kante, one would assume that he’s regularly tuning into Chelsea games – which would be no surprise, with them being his boyhood club.
But, it’ll be encouragement for Frank Lampard, should he be keen on signing Rice as the Telegraph suggest, that he’s keen one eye on the Blues in their title charge.