Lam­pard hails dy­namic Kante

New Straits Times - - Sport -

LON­DON: N’golo Kante’s sub­lime per­for­mance in Chelsea’s 1-0 vic­tory over Manch­ester United in Mon­day’s FA Cup quar­ter-fi­nal prompted for­mer Eng­land great Frank Lam­pard to dub him the best cen­tral mid­fielder in the world.

Kante – whose su­perb goal ended United’s hold on the tro­phy – es­caped his op­po­nents rough­house treat­ment of play­maker Eden Hazard and al­lowed the 25year-old French in­ter­na­tional to dom­i­nate the en­counter.

His per­for­mance left his French in­ter­na­tional team-mate and the world’s most ex­pen­sive foot­baller, United’s Paul Pogba, chas­ing shad­ows and at the re­ceiv­ing end of more crit­i­cism.

Kante, though, had for­mer Chelsea mid­field leg­end Lam­pard pos­i­tively purring.

“I’d go as far to say that he’s (Kante) the best cen­tral mid­field player in the world on cur­rent form, I re­ally would,” Lam­pard told the BBC.

“Look­ing at the way he’s per­form­ing this year, he may not be scor­ing lots of goals but what he’s giv­ing to the team in the way he’s play­ing, the driv­ing force that he is, I can­not see any­one else out there in world foot­ball bet­ter than him at the mo­ment.”

For­mer Eng­land and Barcelona striker Gary Lineker tweeted if Kante be­came a more reg­u­lar goalscorer then he would be the undis­puted num­ber one.

“Bloody hell, if Kante starts scor­ing goals as well he’ll be­come the best mid­field player ever,” tweeted Lineker.

For­mer Eng­land cap­tain Alan Shearer said for his money there would be no com­pe­ti­tion when it comes to hand­ing out the two player of the year awards.

“I think you’re look­ing at the Foot­ball Writ­ers’ Player of the Year and the PFA Player of the Year,” Shearer told the BBC.

“We are not used to him scor­ing too many goals but he was ab­so­lutely su­perb, he was all over the park as usual.

“When United did get the ball back he was straight at them and get­ting it for Chelsea.”

Kante, who has proved an un­qual­i­fied suc­cess since Chelsea paid £30mil­lion (RM162 mil­lion) to cham­pi­ons Le­ices­ter who have equally felt his loss keenly, out­shone

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