Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has revealed that he started summer signing N’Golo Kante in tonight’s Premier League opener away to West Ham United as the midfielder has settled in very quickly following his move from Leicester City.
The Frenchman played a major part in Leicester’s remarkable title success last season and he will hope to lift the trophy again with Chelsea at the end of this campaign.
Conte elected to start Kante at the base of the Chelsea midfield in a 4-1-4-1 formation, with Cesc Fabregas being named on the bench.
Conte told Sky Sports: “We have worked very well and I think the team is ready to start the season. We have a tough game against a strong side.
“Kante has settled very well in the team. He is fantastic, with good technique and stamina and he can help the team this season.”
Kante excels at winning the ball back, as demonstrated by the fact that he made 156 interceptions in the Premier League last campaign, more than any other player in the division.
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The 25-year-old, who earns £100,000-a-week, is one of two new signings at Stamford Bridge so far during this transfer window, with striker Michy Batshuayi having arrived from Marseille. Chelsea will seek to make further signings within the next couple of weeks, with Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly still being linked with a move to the club.
Last season was hugely frustrating for Chelsea, who struggled for consistency and ended up finishing in mid-table. However, with Conte at the helm and Kante in midfield, the Blues will be hopeful of faring far better this time around.
Culled from Squawka