2005-06 was the last time a Central midfielder won the PFA player of the year. Steven Gerrard helped Liverpool to FA Cup triumph and Liverpool finished in the Champions League spot. Fast forward 11 years, and we have yet another Central midfielder in N’golo Kante lining up to receive the accolade.
Here are our five reasons why N’golo Kante must win the PFA player of the year.
1. He is the key to Chelsea’s success
At this stage, last season, Kante’s former team Leicester City were challenging for the title and Chelsea were in the mid-table. Now, Chelsea are sitting 10 points clear at the top while the Foxes are fighting at the bottom.
The credit should also go to Antonio Conte, but N’golo Kante is the sole reason for Chelsea’s stability in the middle of the park. Chelsea’s defence was wide open last season as they conceded with an average 1.39 goals per game. But with Kante’s arrival in Chelsea’s midfield that number has been reduced to 0.7 goals per game.
Kante was the only man sold by Leicester City this season. Leicester City won the premier league with the presence of Kante and are now fighting for survival without Kante, is enough to say that how important Kante was for Leicester.
2. Numbers don’t lie
Kante has made a total of 59 interceptions. Herrera and Cabaye are the only two mid-fielder who have done more interceptions than him. He has made 94 tackles at a success rate of 67%.
He also makes 1.1 clearance per game. Surprisingly he also recorded a total of 1,602 passes to his name with an accuracy of 87%. He has made 208 recoveries and has won 158 duels.
The stats clearly show that he is the perfect defensive midfielder. He has also been vital in breaking opposition play and setting an ideal platform for the counter attack. His overall influence in a game has been important to Chelsea this season.
3. He is a restless machine
They say water covers 70% of the earth and the rest is covered by the 25-year-old. Well, it has been one of the top trending memes for almost a year now.
But the fact is very clear Kante covers a lot of distance. He is tireless. At one moment you can see him in his defensive area and split second on he is there attacking the other half.
He hunts the ball down and covers almost every grass on the field. At an average, he almost covers a distance of 12km per game. When you mix his tireless running and fundamental tackling you get a perfect modern day defensive minded midfielder.
4. Time for a Change
As I have already mentioned, it has been 11 years since a Central midfielder has won the PFA player of the year. In those years, players like Ronaldo, Giggs, Bale, Suarez and Hazard have won them.
Fair to say attacking minded players are favourite to win this trophy. This is down to the fact that these attacking players were simply fantastic, but it is also true that Premier League had never seen a player like him in those years.
What better way to change the tradition by handing the award to this outstanding individual name N’golo Kante.
5. He is pundit’s and bookies favourite
The former Leicester midfielder is everywhere at the moment.
One of the top trending athletes in the social media. You hear about him everywhere. He is a hot topic for any pundits.
He has already been pundits favourite to win the award. At 1/3, he is also bookies favourite to win the PFA player of the year ahead of his teammate Eden Hazard and Diego Costa who are placed at 4/1, 14/1. It is almost certain that the French International is everyone’s favourite to win the PFA player of the year.