N’Golo Kante is leaving Chelsea after seven trophy-laden years at Stamford Bridge.

The French international, who also won the World Cup with his nation during his time as a Blue, will depart the club to take up a new opportunity in Saudi Arabia with Al-Ittihad following the expiration of his contract.

It brings an end to an incredible time for both player and club, with Kante helping Chelsea win the Premier League and the FA Cup domestically, plus the Champions League, the Europa League and the Super Cup in Europe as well as the FIFA Club World Cup.

His name will forever be etched into Chelsea folklore for the impact he’s had. The humble, brilliant midfielder has given everything to this club and, as he embarks on a new chapter in his career, he reflects on his time in London and why the Blues will always have a place in his heart.

Over to you, NG…

The perfect move

I remember how the move to Chelsea came about, very clearly.

I was at Leicester and we had an amazing season. Shortly after we won the title, my agent called me and told me that Chelsea were interested in signing me.

Straightaway, I had a good chemistry with Antonio Conte. He was the coach who signed me and I felt that he knew what he wanted from me and what he wanted, and expected, from the club.

So from then I decided to join Chelsea and I never once regretted that choice, it was perfect for me.

Making my mark

My first game with Chelsea is something I look back on with fondness. It was a big game, a London derby against West Ham.

I remember I got a yellow card and maybe I was lucky not to get a red card actually! I had already been booked and then I made a foul after but thankfully the referee didn’t sanction it with another yellow card.

That was my debut, a special moment and my first time playing at Stamford Bridge with the Blues jersey on.

Seeing the crowd and playing in front of them as a Chelsea player for the first time was very special and something I will always look back on with a lot of fondness.

Growing with Chelsea

Throughout my time at Chelsea, I’ve worked with some incredible coaches who have all helped me develop my game.

Working with top coaches has helped me understand the game in different ways – offensive and defensive phases, team cohesion, how to press at the right time – things like this.

When everyone plays together in the same state of mind, it helps you pull together as a collective and that’s something I really felt at Chelsea. From joining in 2016 to now, I’ve developed as a player so much and that’s down to this club allowing me the opportunity to do so.

That night in Porto

I’ve had so many good times at Chelsea but of course, winning the Champions League stands out. In fact, I’d say the latter stages of that journey as a whole was really special.

We put in some very good performances against top teams to reach the final and then of course, it ended with us celebrating with the trophy which was such an amazing feeling.

It was the first time I’d been at the quarter-final stage, the semi-final stage of such a major competition. We’d been there before in the Europa League but the Champions League is even more beautiful, it’s special.

Getting to the final was honestly an amazing feeling but once you are there, all you focus is on wanting to win the game.

We had done so well to get to this stage, performing well against big teams, and you must remember that even in the final, we were not favourites to win. So of course, winning this final felt great.

The trophy is just a plus because really, the biggest thing is the journey we’ve been on and that’s something we will always remember. The feeling of that night will stay with us for a long time. Even now, when I talk about that night it makes me smile.

The Chelsea spirit

Whenever I see the footage, it makes me smile and when we win, frankly, I just want to enjoy the moment and celebrate with the fans. We certainly did that night in Porto.

Ever since I joined, that need to win has been there. It’s the Chelsea spirit and you feel it straightaway.

The players feel and all the coaches we’ve had, they’ve all shared a burning desire to win titles and trophies.

I’ve always wanted to be at the top and being at Chelsea, they helped me achieve my dream. Here I’ve celebrated great victories, great trophies and I’ve been able to grow as a footballer.

Being N’Golo

People have often asked me how, and why, I stay so humble. For me, it’s not necessarily about staying humble. It’s just being me and remembering the journey I’ve taken.

To get to here with Chelsea, to join the French national team was such a long journey for me with many, many setbacks.

From a young age, many training centres didn’t accept me and I failed on numerous occasions with my attempts to join a professional club. These setbacks make you who you are and act as a reminder to me every day.

I’m just grateful for my journey. I think of all the people I’ve met on the way, people who shared the same dream as me to make it as a professional footballer, to make it to the top.

Not everyone can fulfil their dreams. I’m fortunate. I’m succeeded and I made the decision to always remember how far I’ve come and to enjoy the ride.

Thank you, Chelsea

As I said earlier, my dream was to become a footballer and to try and win trophies. Joining Chelsea was the perfect arrangement for me to achieve those dreams.

The first day I joined Chelsea, I was told very early on that the objective here is always to win trophies. Always.

I’ve managed to do that and I’m so grateful for my coaches, my team-mates and the Chelsea supporters for helping me achieve this.

The last few years at this club have been great for me and, I hope, for the Chelsea fans too.



N’Golo, you do not need to thank Chelsea. In fact, it is us who should be thanking you. Best of luck for the future, legend.