N’Golo Kanté’s has signed a new contract with Chelsea until 2023, in a deal that will see diminutive French midfielder staying at Stamford Bridge well into his 30s.
The news of an improved contract comes as somewhat of a surprise considering Kanté still has two and a half years to run on his existing deal. That said, this seems like a smart move by the Chelsea hierarchy to lock down one of their key players for his best years. Whilst this has no doubt been a footballing decision, giving Kanté a new contract will automatically raise his asking price should the likes of PSG come knocking.
The French midfielder has made 105 appearances since being at the Bridge and has scored four times, although Maurizio Sarri will be hopeful that he can contribute more in the attacking third in the years to come. Kanté has been deployed in a more advanced role than when he played under Ranieri at Leicester and Conte at Chelsea, but he seems to be just as pivotal to Sarri’s plans. He has started every Premier League game so far, something which may have come unexpected to some due to the deployment Jorginho in Kanté’s regular position at the base of the midfield, and the new contract offer seems to prove the Italian’s trust in him.
It is no surprise in footballing terms that Chelsea want to keep him in South-West London. Since his arrival in the Premier League, he has become one of the greatest midfielders of his generation. He possesses a mixture of ability that not many have. His industry, intelligence and tenacity alongside his agility make him a handful for even the most talented of attackers.
Frank Lampard called him the best in the world and many other footballing legends have come to praise the little Frenchman. Eden Hazard branded him a ‘rat’ for his excellent ability to scurry around the pitch and Paul Pogba similarly stated that Kanté does as much running as 11 players combined. Whilst Kanté seems to be the nicest, most humble man in World football (he famously drives to training in a Fiat Panda) he is a serial winner.
In the last three years, he has lifted the Premier League twice, won PFA Player of the Year, Premier League Player of the Year and Football Writer’s Player of the Year and lifted the World Cup for France. And what speaks most highly of Kanté is the fact that without him Leicester, Chelsea and France would have probably had a more torrid time in their success. There is no doubt that this is a key reason Chelsea want to tie him down for more years to come.
Kanté would be a huge miss to the Premier League should another European giant tempt him away, but Chelsea tying down the Frenchman to a new deal is a huge statement of intent as the West London site embark on a new era under the stewardship of Maurizio Sarri.