'Top-class': John Terry says he really wants Chelsea star to be given a new contract

Chelsea legend John Terry rained down a tidal wave of compliments upon N’Golo Kante’s shoulders.

Speaking to Stadium Astro, Terry didn’t hold back his love for the mini-midfielder, who he believed warranted football’s top individual honour.

Kante returned with a flourish in the second half of last season, after his spark slightly dimmed due to a few niggling injuries and changeover of managers.

Photo by Alexander Hassenstein – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

Under Thomas Tuchel’s wing, the France international flew back to the heights that brought him to Chelsea in the first place.

His performances in the Champions League were particularly spectacular, earning man-of-the-match awards in both semi-finals and the final.

He played his part in the Blues’ recent UEFA Super Cup success, to add to his extended trophy cabinet.

Captain, leader, lover of Kante

The 30-year-old is about to embark on his fifth season with the European champions, but Terry wanted to see him in a Chelsea shirt way beyond his half-decade.  

Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images

“Kante’s like 11 players on his own,” said the iconic Blues captain.

“What he does, he goes so under the radar. He is such a top-class player.

“I’d love to go see him win the Ballon d’Or or get the appreciation I feel he deserves.

“He’s such a humble guy. He just goes about his business and keeps out of any trouble.

“He’s been a great asset for the football club and we are very lucky to have at Chelsea for sure.

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“N’Golo still has so much to give over the next few years. He’s one of the fittest players I’ve come across as well.

“It would be great to see Chelsea tie him down and keep him at the football club.”

Mentioning Kante and Ballon d’Or in the same breath is not a new phenomenon.

In the lead-up to the European Championships, many tipped the unpretentious Parisien to claim the prize should France win the competition.

Photo by Kristy Sparow – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

Rio Ferdinand said he would have deserved the award, as did national teammate Paul Pogba.

As it transpired, Les Blues crashed out in the round of 16 and the Ballon d’Or chat dispersed.

But after Kante’s nomination for UEFA’s best midfielder from last year’s Champions League, that conversation might just start up again.

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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.