• News

Keown compares ‘world beater’ Kante to two Arsenal legends

N’Golo Kante, Chelsea
Getty Images

Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown compared N’Golo Kante to two of his former teammates after his Champions League heroics.

Martin Keown believes N’Golo Kante has proven himself as ‘one of the game’s greats’ and compared his defensive game to Arsenal legends Patrick Vieira and Gilberto Silva.

Kante gave a man-of-the-match performance on Saturday to help Chelsea bag a 1-0 win over Manchester City in the Champions League in Porto, sealing European glory for the Blues.

The World Cup winner was instrumental in the club’s path to success, especially against Real Madrid in the semi-finals. He’s now seen as a candidate for the 2021 Ballon d’Or prize.

“Right now, there is not a finer defensive midfielder in the world than the all-action Kante,’ Keown wrote in his Daily Mail column.

“Is he the best ever? That is hard to say. You could definitely make a case.

“I was blessed to play behind Patrick Vieira and Gilberto Silva. Those players provide you with pure protection and you feel safer with them in front of you. Kante gives that to this Chelsea defense.

“Maurizio Sarri tried playing him in a different position, but Thomas Tuchel is playing him where he is at his best.

“Not only do we have to say Leicester found a gem in Kante but Chelsea got an absolute bargain when they spent £32 million on him in 2016.

“The Blues had just finished 10th in the Premier League, remember, so were not even in Europe. Yet while other sides went to sleep, Chelsea signed a world beater. Every team in Europe would love to have this midfielder, with a twin engine, starting for them now.

“Kante would have been warned to watch out for Ilkay Gundogan arriving late in the box. So he would have been astonished to see City’s top scorer in the distance, having been deployed as their deepest midfield player.

“Now 30, Kante has won Premier League, Champions League, Europa League, FA Cup and World Cup medals.

“He is, quite simply, one of the game’s greats.”