N'Golo Kante responds to Ballon d'Or shouts and credits Chelsea figure for his 'growth' as player

N’Golo Kante has had his say about his potentially being a strong candidate for Ballon d’Or this year as he explained how Thomas Tuchel has helped him grow as a player at Chelsea.

Many fans, pundits, and even fellow professionals see Kante as a strong contender for the prestigious award after his performances this season.

His displays in the knock-out stages of the Champions League for Chelsea, in particular, have really impressed a lot of people.

Kante himself, however, felt that “it was too early to talk about it now”.

Photo by Alex Caparros – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

“There are still six months to go, many matches and competition,” the France international insisted (via Le Parisien).

“It’s not necessary to say that I deserve it now. I finished in the top-10 a few years ago [eighth place in Ballon d’Or rankings in 2017].

“It feels good, but to win it is a different story. It is a great individual reward for the players.

“I see it as the result of a season. It’s not necessarily a target or something I’m working on.”

Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Tuchel has helped him grow, says Kante

But the energetic midfielder seems to be aware that he “grown” as a player, and he said that Chelsea boss Tuchel has played a big part in it.

“This year has been difficult at times. But we had the chance to go far in the Champions League and it went well for me,” he added.

“The new coach [Tuchel] has given me more control on the pitch, which has freed me up.

“Maybe I’m seen a bit more offensively.

“At Caen, I already had this aspect in my game. But it was less obvious.

“I need to be even more technically precise in the last 30 metres, be more selfish, take my chances and be brave.”

Well, even Juventus midfielder and Kante’s France midfield partner, Adrien Rabiot, seemed to be impressed by the Chelsea midfielder’s “enormous” improvement.

A Chelsea fan who loves football statistics. Studied sports journalism at the University of Sunderland.