N’Golo Kante has today extended his stay at Stamford Bridge by signing a new five-year contract.
Kante, a revelation since moving to Chelsea from Leicester City in the summer of 2016, played a pivotal role as we won the Premier League title in his first season at the club, with the Frenchman rewarded for the quality and consistency of his performances by being named Player of the Year by both the PFA and FWA.
He maintained those high personal standards throughout last season as he helped us secure the FA Cup, with another individual accolade to follow, this time the Chelsea Player of the Year prize. The 27-year-old has been an ever-present during our unbeaten start to the current Premier League campaign.
Upon signing his new contract, Kante said: ‘I’m happy to extend my time with Chelsea, it has been two beautiful years and I wish for more to come. Since I came, I completely improved as a player, challenged myself and got some awards I never thought about. I like the city, I like the club and I am happy to be here for more time.’
Club director Marina Granovskaia added: 'We are delighted N’Golo has signed a new contract and sees his long-term future with Chelsea. When he arrived, we knew we had signed a special player but he has astounded everybody with his tireless and unselfish displays.
'Off the pitch, he remains a dedicated professional and a humble human being despite the fact he is a world champion and a two-time Premier League winner. We now look forward to five more years with N’Golo at the heart of the Chelsea midfield.'
Kante made his Chelsea debut in our opening game of the 2016/17 season, producing a memorable midfield performance which combined high energy, athleticism and quality on the ball as we beat West Ham United 2-1 at Stamford Bridge.
It would be the first of many eye-catching displays by the Frenchman, who played in 35 of our 38 Premier League matches and became a vital cog in the 3-4-3 formation which served us so well during that campaign. Kante and Nemanja Matic formed a solid midfield pairing as the Blues embarked upon a 13-match winning run that propelled us to the top of the table.
Included in that sequence was a 4-0 win over Manchester United, an afternoon on which Kante scored his first goal for the club, collecting a smart Pedro flick and easing away from the challenge of Chris Smalling before applying a stylish finish to put the seal on the victory. Later in the season, against the same opponents, Kante’s long-range strike proved decisive as we came out on top in an FA Cup quarter-final.
After a 2-1 win over West Ham at the London Stadium, Eden Hazard famously said he felt as though there were two Kantes in our team due to the distances the midfielder was able to cover.
Having ended the previous campaign, at Leicester, with a Premier League winner’s medal, Kante’s maiden season at Stamford Bridge culminated in the same manner, and it was no surprise when individual accolades followed. Kante was voted as the PFA Player of the Year, as well as being named Footballer of the Year by the Football Writers’ Association, having also been one of four Chelsea players in the Premier League Team of the Season.
Last season Kante scored what proved to be the winning goal against his former club Leicester at the King Power Stadium, and a second collective honour with the Blues arrived when he played the full game as we beat Man United to lift the FA Cup at Wembley. The campaign climaxed in a positive way on a personal level for our No.7, who made a total of 48 appearances, as he was deservedly named Chelsea Player of the Year at our end-of-season awards ceremony.
Maurizio Sarri’s arrival has led to a slight change in role this season for Kante, the Italian opting to deploy him further forward on the right-hand side of a three-man midfield, with the focus on winning the ball higher up the pitch and in more dangerous areas.
Not surprisingly, he has continued to flourish, and it was Kante who scored our first goal of the season when he broke the deadlock with a left-footed volley in our 3-0 win at Huddersfield on the opening day.
An ever-present in our unbeaten start to the current Premier League campaign, Kante was then named in the FIFA FIFPro World 11 in September, rewarded for his high-quality displays for both Chelsea and France, with whom he was a World Cup-winner in the summer.
Kante recently made his 100th start for the club, and in total, he has appeared 105 times, scoring four goals.