Arsenal legend Thierry Henry has heaped huge praise onto Chelsea star N’Golo Kante after his incredible form for the Blues in the season just gone.
Kante played a starring role for Chelsea as they won the Champions League, putting in man of the match displays in both legs of the semi-final win over Real Madrid and in the final victory against Manchester City.
It really feels like there’s no one else quite like Kante in the game right now, and he’s sure to have a huge role for the French national team at Euro 2020 this summer.
Henry, a previous European Championship winner with France, will no doubt be watching Kante with interest this summer, and he spoke to Vibe With Five about just how highly he rates the former Leicester City man.
Henry insists Kante’s incredible positioning and timing of tackles and interceptions is no accident, as he compared the player’s instincts in those defensive areas to the great centre-forwards who always seem to be in the right place at the right time to put the ball into the back of the net.
The Frenchman also praised the fact that Kante’s great defensive work is also key to helping start attacks.
“Listen, you notice certain guys because they score and grab the headlines,” Henry said.
“But I rarely see a player who arrives before the ball. Like, he already knows the ball is going to land there. Sometimes he arrives before the ball and I’m like, “how does he do that?!”
“He reads the game to be able to intercept the ball without fouling or tackling most of the time. He arrives at the same time as the ball, sometimes earlier.
“The amount of times he turns a counter-attack for his opponent to a counter-attack for his team… You are building and suddenly he gets the ball and you’re in trouble. So many times!
“So many times you see him getting the ball back and soon after it’s a goal for Chelsea. The capacity he has to read the game and see where the ball is going, sometimes he gets there before the ball!
“It’s not guessing. When they say a striker smells the goal, it’s the same with Kante. He knows exactly where the ball is going and he can read the pass and the pattern of play.”