'Underestimated': Gullit says Chelsea ace is still underrated despite being 'vital' vs Madrid

Ruud Gullit felt N’Golo Kante doesn’t get the credit he fully deserves for his consistently class performances in a Chelsea shirt, speaking on beIN SPORT.

There was nothing unappreciated about Kante’s display last night.

The Blues mini-midfielder was man of the match during Chelsea’s Champions League triumph over Real Madrid yesterday.

Photo by Steve Bardens – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

Class Kante

He swept every blade of the Stamford Bridge grass, but it was not only his energy and tenacity that was impressive.

Kante played his part in both goals, pinching the ball and passing to Kai Havertz to set up the opener, before doing the exact same to supply Christian Pulisic for the clincher.

One only has to look at the Frenchman’s stats against Madrid to understand his crucial role in the victory.

According to WhoScored.com, Kante made more key passes (three) than any Chelsea player, whilst his five interceptions were just pipped by Jorginho’s six.

Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

Gullit knows greatness

His efforts did not go unrecognised, especially by Gullit, who gushed over the 30-year-old after the game.

“For me, man of the match was Kante, by far,” said the former Blues manager.

“He works so hard. He was vital. He was vital in the second goal. He was vital in the first goal.

“He could’ve scored a goal himself. He’s a wonderful player.

“A player who is so underestimated by so many people, because people always look at strikers who scores goals.

“But players like him you need. Such a fantastic player.”

Photo by Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Chelsea’s champions

Those who underrated Kante must be cowering in a corner somewhere, because they simply cannot deny how great he was versus Madrid.

Of course, he was not the only one who impressed in the face of Los Blancos.

Edouard Mendy made several top saves to keep his clean sheet safe, whilst Havertz cut a classy figure when leading Chelsea’s attacking line.

Timo Werner also grabbed his first goal from open play in Europe this season, a huge boost as the campaign reaches its conclusion.

Chelsea take on Manchester City this weekend, a dress rehearsal for their Champions League final showdown at the end of the month.

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Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.