Two Chelsea men named in Premier League's top 10 European imports
BBC’s Match of the Day have named Eden Hazard and N’Golo Kante among the all-time best European imports in the Premier League.
Hazard is now a Real Madrid player, but what the 29-year-old achieved at Chelsea for about seven years puts him among Premier League greats.
The Belgium international won everything at Chelsea aside from the Champions League trophy, along with some individual honors including PFA Player of the Year in 2015.
Speaking on the Match of the Day podcast, Ian Wright said: “He could not do any more for Chelsea. He was somebody who, when it wasn’t going well, could do something that would turn the game on its head for them.”
Another Premier League legend Alan Shearer was particularly fascinated with Hazard’s dribbling ability, saying: “Teams used to double up on him which created space that other players could exploit. The way he carried and travelled with the ball.”
Meanwhile, Kante was picked for his achievements for Leicester City and Chelsea, although Wright said other names including Gianfranco Zola could have been chosen instead as for now Kante has not had the same longevity as the other candidates.
Kante was such an instrumental figure in Leicester City’s title-winning campaign in 2015/16. Gary Lineker mentioned how Robert Huth said in an interview that the French international was the reason Leicester won the league.
After winning the title at Leicester, Kante joined Chelsea in 2016, and once again played a major part as Chelsea lifted the Premier League trophy under Antonio Conte.
Kante was named the PFA Player of the Year that season.
Wright believes Kante is at his best in a holding midfielder and is not impressed with former Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri’s decision to push the 29-year-old to a number eight role.
Wright said: “Kante was like two players in one (at Leicester). Not only was he able to sniff out danger, see danger and stop it, he was able to get them going forward. It’s baffling to see what Maurizio Sarri did to him at Chelsea.”
Shearer, on the other hand, highlighted Kante’s ability to constantly run on the pitch, saying: “I don’t think I have seen a guy cover as much grass as Kante has.
“At the end of games I have looked at him and he doesn’t even look like he’s sweating. It’s staggering how he is able get up and down and the fitness he shows.”