N’Golo Kante is a name frequently on the names of Chelsea supporters and there is no doubt he’s a major favourite at Stamford Bridge.
The France international has reached the world-class bracket since he joined from Leicester for £30million (BBC) in 2016 and continues to light up the Premier League.
He has made himself a household name as a defensive midfielder and the comparisons to ex-Blues Claude Makelele have been frequent.
But under his second manager at Chelsea, he is now being asked to fill a different role.
Kante remains an ever-present in the starting XI this term, but is playing a more box-to-box midfield role under Maurizio Sarri and has come in for criticism at times.
There are many who feel the 27-year-old is not being utilised properly due to his past performances in screening the defence, but there is also an argument to suggest he may be the most improved Chelsea player under Sarri this season.
It’s crystal clear that Sarri will be stubborn in his methods by using a ball player such as Jorginho in a deep midfield role and Kante has not sulked about it.
He has adapted his game to become this new-look midfielder that appears to be improving each week and is consistently one of Chelsea’s top performers.
His defensive qualities are well known and he will cover every inch of the pitch during 90 minutes for the team, which is why he will still pop up with vital interceptions and blocks.
But it’s going forward where there are signs he is getting to grips with the his new role and is becoming a better attacking threat.
Kante now has four goals across all competitions this season and four assists, which included setting up two for Gonzalo Higuain in the Premier League 5-0 win over Huddersfield at the weekend.
He’s also making some intelligent driving runs into the box and is being encouraged to shoot more.
Nobody can fault the way he’s going about adapting his game and Chelsea are extremely lucky to have such a professional on their books.
Sarri’s system is one that most players are still adapting too and Kante perhaps deserves the most credit for his displays this season.