N’Golo Kante has come in for special praise following his performance in Chelsea’s Champions League final win over Manchester City.
The Frenchman was universally regarded as the man-of-the-match in Portugal, making several important interceptions to snuff out any danger to ensure the Blues lifted the trophy for the second time in their history.
For Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel, Kante is his ‘dream’ player who is key to the side’s chances of winning more major trophies in the future.
What would be ideal for the Blues is if there were two Kantes to call upon during a long hard season so that one could play whilst the other takes a rest from time to time.
With that said, Tuchel may already have the next Kante in his Chelsea squad.
Kai Havertz, who scored the winner in the Champions League final, has compared Antonio Rudiger to Kante by stating the German is a “warrior” that every team needs.
“[Rudiger] has given us so much stability over the last few months,” Havertz told reporters, as per Goal. “After Tuchel’s arrival, he played outstandingly. As a mentality player, he’s also important.
“On the pitch, he’s a warrior. A bit like Kante – you want him in your team. Playing against him in training isn’t as much fun either.
“The last few months have been top. It was very hard for him at first and now he’s fought his way out of it.”
As Havertz mentioned, Rudiger became a regular in the Chelsea side after the appointment of Tuchel in January which was as a result of Blues owner Roman Abramovich taking the decision to sack Frank Lampard.
It’s safe to say the gamble paid off with the Champions League win and also Rudiger’s emergence as a key player.
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Although, Havertz is in no doubt as to who Chelsea’s most important player is as he prepares to face Kante in Germany’s Euro 2020 opener next week against France.
“When you see [Kante], you have to smile. He is a great personality and a great person,” he added. “And a great football player. As an attacking player, I’m always happy when he is on the pitch.
“You can make a lot of mistakes because he always wins the ball back. He’s fast, agile and always gets his leg in.
“That’s why it’s not so nice to have to play against him in the first match of the European Championship, of course.”