As one of the longer-serving Chelsea players, N’Golo Kante knows what is needed to challenge at the top of the table, and he sees strength in the current squad.

The 29-year-old won the Premier League title in his first season at Chelsea, 2016/17, having done so in the previous season at Leicester too. His current outstanding form is winning him the sort of praise he received in those campaigns, but Kante is very much a team man.‘For sure we have a beautiful squad,’ he says. ‘Everyone is involved. As players we know what is required to be part of the starting 11 and on the bench, because many players have shown that even with less time they play very well. It’s for the manager to decide but as soon as we are on the pitch, we try to give the best for the club.‘We had some new players coming in this season and so far they are doing very well. They feel good and we feel good with them. Now they are part of the team we don’t see them as new players because everyone is in a good mood and has the desire to do well for the club.

‘This season there are a lot of teams at the top of the table with not many points difference,’ he adds. ‘It means this season is open for everyone so it’s good for us to keep up in this part of the table.‘We are in a good position but this season is still young.’

Chelsea ended the weekend in third spot, two points behind Tottenham and Liverpool. In our 3-1 win against Leeds on Saturday, Christian Pulisic became our 13th player to score in the league this season, which is four more scorers than any other side in the division. One who could yet be added to that list is Kante who has not found the net in our shirt in 2020/21.‘This season I didn’t have many chances to score,’ he points out, ‘but as long as the team keeps scoring and keeps winning and taking points, it’s okay for me not to score.‘It’s a good sign for us that the goals can come from many different players. But the most important is the result and we are happy to do well. If the goals come from one player or another it’s not the most important.’