Euro 2016 Player in Focus: France’s N’Golo Kante
There will be a lot of attention on N’Golo Kante this summer, and if he performs like he has for Leicester City all season, that attention will only grow.
The Frenchman has played a key role in the Foxes title charge this season, being a solid presence in front of the City back four, and after earning his first cap for France in March, he’s expected to do the same for Les Bleus at Euro 2016 this summer.
He’ll certainly be one to watch, and he’s already made his mark for France, scoring on his first start for the country against Russia at the Stade de France.
It’s the Stade de France where he’ll begin his Euro 2016 quest against Romania, but it’s perhaps against the Swiss in the Group and then the latter rounds where he’ll really come into his own.
For the most part you’d expect Didier Deschamps’ men to cruise through the group without the need of Kante to protect the back four, but against the Swiss and the likes of Xherdan Shaqiri his break up play could be integral.
Over the course of the season his statistics have been phenomenal. He averages more tackles per game than anyone else in Europe, and the number of interceptions he makes are right up there too. It’s why he’s become so highly thought of. His £5.6million transfer fee from Caen has at least tripled over the course of the season and Arsenal, Juventus, and PSG have all been linked with the midfielder.
If he has a successful campaign this summer, the number of clubs looking at him will only increase. For France, he’ll probably rotate with Lassana Diarra – a man he described as his hero – and will be the rock that allows the likes of Paul Pogba and Blaise Matuidi to go forward and really influence a game.
It’s been an incredible season for Kante; he’ll be full of confidence and any nation that has a Leicester City player in their side will be buoyed by the dedication, commitment, and passion they show on a football pitch.
We’re all expecting Pogba, Antoine Griezmann, and Olivier Giroud to be the host nation’s standout players, but it’ll be Kante in the heart of that midfielder keeping the game ticking over, sweeping in front of the back four, and setting Les Bleus on their way and ensuring they stay true to their favourites tag at Euro 2016.
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