With the opening goal in our 2-1 defeat against Manchester City, N’Golo Kante took his Premier League goal tally for the season up to three – but how many goals does he have overall for the Blues in the top flight and how does it compare to some of the other French stars who have starred for the club?
Our No.7 may have had his playing time reduced this season due to a succession of injuries, but that has had no impact whatsoever on his goalscoring. In fact, he only needs one more to equal his Premier League record from last season and he has scored with all three shots on target this term.
That has taken him up to nine goals for the Blues in the English top flight since his arrival in west London back in 2016, but how does that compare with some of his fellow countryman who have also represented the club?
Kante’s form in front of goal means he knocks our former centre-forward, who now represents our Champions League group rivals Lille, into sixth place on the list of French goalscorers. While Remy's tally of eight might not be the most impressive for a striker on the face of it, the seven goals he scored in the 2014/15 season were pivotal as they earned us key points in the second half of the campaign, most notably against Manchester City, Hull and Stoke. With those valuable additions to the points tally, it helped earn him, and the club, a Premier League winners' medal.
Some Chelsea fans have not forgiven Gallas for departing the club as part of the deal which brought Ashley Cole to Stamford Bridge in the summer of 2006, but there is no doubting the key role he played in two title-winning sides. He had actually just finished the previous campaign as our sixth-highest scorer in the Premier League, with his five-goal tally including a stunning late winner against Spurs. His overall top-flight record for the club was 12 goals and, more impressively, he was also part of the defence in 2004/05 which set a Premier League low of only 15 goals conceded.
Next on the list is another defender who knew his way to goal – indeed, before Leboeuf joined Chelsea he once netted a hat-trick during his time with Strasbourg! The cultured libero may have topped up his Blues tally of 17 with his fair share of penalties, but he was also capable of scoring incredible goals from long range. His strike in a last-minute win against Leicester City in 1997 was one such effort which will live long in the memory, and he also had a happy knack of providing assists with his pin-point long-range passes from deep.
Malouda’s six seasons can be broken down into thirds quite nicely: two hit-and-miss seasons, two sensational campaigns and then back to hit-and-miss for the final two. The left-winger joined us from Lyon as reigning Ligue 1 Player of the Year and he hit top form during our 2009/10 Double-winning season as a key source of both goals and assists. Better was to follow in front of goal the following campaign as he netted 13 times in the Premier League to finish as our leading scorer. When he finally departed in 2013, it was with a none-too-shabby record of 35 goals in the English top flight.
Like the man who precedes him on this list, Anelka was slow out the blocks for Chelsea, but he more than made up for in his first full season, in 2008/09. A tally of 19 goals earned him the Premier League Golden Boot award – just the second Frenchman to win it, after Thierry Henry – albeit with the second-lowest total in the rebranded English top flight’s history. In fact, he netted exactly half of his Premier League goals for the Blues that season, although his intelligent link play was an understated factor during a successful era for the club.
N'Golo Kante, along with Jorginho and Cesar Azpilicueta, are among the selection choices for UEFA's Fans' Team of the Year