‘Really strong’: Manchester City star says ‘unbelievable’ £30m Chelsea man is so powerful

Ilkay Gundogan heaped praise upon N’Golo Kante ahead of the gigantic Premier League showdown between Chelsea and Manchester City tomorrow.

Gundogan responded to a question on Twitter asking who is the hardest midfielder he’s ever faced.

The German international did not mince his words when describing his toughest adversary.

Kante the conqueror

Many opponents who have come across the formidable Frenchman would certainly share this view.

With a seemingly endless lung capacity, Chelsea’s mini-machine swallows up the ground in a split second.

But it’s not just his energy that allows him to cover vast distances, it’s the intelligence that allows him to be in the right place at the right time.

This aspect of Kante’s game often gets overlooked, as some still view him as a work-horse, rather than a prize stallion.

Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

He certainly has the strength of a fully grown steed, even if his size suggests otherwise.

If you count the number of times the 30-year-old is bullied off the ball in 90 minutes, the tally would be pretty low.

City mission

The £30m (BBC) gift from Leicester City will need both of these skills to be at maximum capacity when he goes toe-to-toe with Gundogan and City on Saturday.

Ian Wright suggested that if Kante is fully fit, with fire in his belly, then Thomas Tuchel’s men could upset their hosts at the Etihad.

This is certainly not the most daring prediction in the world, considering what Chelsea’s Parisian prince has done to Pep Guardiola’s side before.

Repeat of Porto

In the Champions League final, Kante swarmed City’s midfielders, and several of their attackers, like a man possessed.

Everywhere they turned, the number seven was right there beside them.

Photo by Chris Lee – Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

He was named man-of-the-match for this exhibition in the Estadio do Dragao.

Kante must replicate such a display if Chelsea are to dismantle City once 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.