Former Chelsea star Claude Makelele has insisted that man of the moment N’Golo Kante still has work to do if he is to become as good as he was – in an interview given to Reuters as quoted by the Independent. (http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/chelsea-claude-makelele-ngolo-kante-is-not-as-good-as-him-a7771191.html)
Frenchman Makelele, now assistant manager of Swansea, was a Blue for six years between 2003-2008, and is widely recognised as one the best holding midfielders of his generation, and even now has a role named after him he was so effective.
The 44-year-old had such a huge influence for the Stamford Bridge outfit in his prime, just as his compatriot Kante is having for the champions at the present moment.
Kante has scooped a number of personal awards after his fine debut season for Chelsea, including the PFA Player of the Year and the Football Writers’ Player of the Year, but Makelele believes the former Leicester star still has another level to step up if he wants to emulate him.
He told Reuters: “At the moment Kante is special and one of the best midfielders. The problem is, I played 25 years in football at this level and comparisons are being made in a bad way.
“This season he did not play in the Champions League. Every four days there will be games. With the national team there will be games. There will be a lot of games. He needs to get that experience.
“When he is at that level, he will not run 90 minutes all the time. He will need to listen to the rhythm, the way he plays. This will be key for him. I hope this will be the situation. I hope he does better than I did in my career.”
Kante will take to the field in the Champions League for the first time in his career next season, and it remains to be seen how he will measure up against Makelele’s concerns.