N’Golo Kante has undoubtedly been one of the finds of the 2015/16 Premier League season, and it does not come as a surprise at all that top clubs like Chelsea and PSG are trying to sign him up.
Along with striker Jamie Vardy and winger Riyad Mahrez, Kante has been one of the three key players who have played a huge role in Leicester City’s enormous success in the Premier League last season.
While Mahrez dazzled fans with his brilliance and Vardy vanquished the opposition with his blistering pace and keen eye for goal, Kante did all the hard work in the middle of the park in order to give the flair players a secure base from which to build their counter attacks. In fact, Kante has finished the season with the highest number of interceptions (156).
Who will benefit more from signing Kante — PSG or Chelsea?
When viewed from Kante’s perspective, it could be difficult for the 25-year-old to choose between the two clubs. A transfer to PSG will take him back to Ligue 1, where he will have the chance to win more domestic titles.
Chelsea, on the other hand, are reportedly desperate to bring Kante to the English capital, and according to the Daily Mirror, are ready to treble his wages in order to do so. They seem to have a bit of an upper hand already, as the Mirror report suggested that Kante wants to remain in the Premier League.
— Nick Sutton (@suttonnick) June 6, 2016
However, PSG can offer the Frenchman Champions League football next season. One key issue with PSG however is that Kante might not get as much game-time, with the presence of the likes of Marco Verratti, Thiago Motta, Blaise Matuidi, and Adrien Rabiot.
It is, however, a different scenario at Chelsea. The Blues have hired Antonio Conte as their new boss. While the Italian is set to take over at the club after the end of Euro 2016, the Blues are reported to have already started to bid for players that Conte wants.
Conte is a manager who generally prefers box-to-box midfielders who do a lot of legwork for the team. The Blues have already been linked with a move for AS Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan, which might indicate that the former Juventus boss wants to pair up the Belgian with Kante in midfield.
Does this spell the end of Fabregas’s time at Chelsea?
However, the 2015/16 season has not been a good time for the former Barcelona man, as his assists count dropped from 18 (in the 2014/15 season when Chelsea won the Premier League) to seven (latest season).
For most of the last two seasons, Cesc Fabregas has been operating as one of the two pivots in the 4-2-3-1 formation that Chelsea have been playing. The Spaniard has especially been effective with setting his teammates up for goals.
However interim manager Guus Hiddink often played Fabregas in the no.10 role after he took over the reins of the club from Jose Mourinho.
The dilemna that Conte has in front of him is whether to give a quality player like Fabregas another chance. With the presence of Kante and Nainggolan, Conte can deploy Fabregas to use his creativity and feed the attacking players, while the other two do all the dirty work in the middle of the park.
Conte prefers to use a system where there are three defenders manning the back line. Hence, the Italian could go for a 3-5-2 formation, as it allows him to have more men in the middle of the park, and gain control of the game.
The 46-year-old is also rumoured to be interested in signing Juventus striker Alvaro Morata, which could again point to the use of the 3-5-2 formation, with two strikers operating up front.
It will be interesting to see how the three Spain internationals (Fabregas, Costa, and Morata) fare in this role, if Conte does decide to go with such a combination.