N’Golo Kanté – A box to box Fox
In The Crème de la Crème we highlighted how Dimitri Payet has established himself as arguably the best free-kick taker in European football and it is no exaggeration to suggest that the Frenchman is a worthy contender for the coveted player of the year awards, alongside the likes of Riyad Mahrez, Jamie Vardy, Harry Kane and Mesut Özil.
On Sunday West Ham United’s talisman will go up against another player who has had an immense breakthrough Premier League season, after making the move form France – N’Golo Kanté. The midfielder performed admirably for Caen last season, earning himself a switch to Leicester City, but he has gone up another notch this season, playing a pivotal role as the Foxes hunt down that elusive title.
Kanté excels in facets of the game that often go unheralded as can be seen in this Oulala infographic.
The midfield zone is often referred to as the engine room and the ability to put in tackles and make telling interceptions is vital for anyone who operates in there. Kanté has won more tackles and made more interceptions than any other player across Europe’s top leagues, recording figures of 4.6 and 4.2 per game respectively. However, there is plenty more to like about his all-round game with his direct thrusts from midfield often being the springboard for the Foxes devastating counter-attacks.
One goal and three assists is probably not enough to have fantasy managers reaching for their notebooks, but if you are participating in contests that have more complex scoring systems, it will increase his appeal.
Another dominant midfield performance against the Hammers could well be enough to secure the Foxes another precious three points as they contemplate the unthinkable – Premier League glory!