“I have now,” he said.
Conte believes he is seeing a midfield superstar who could launch the Stamford Bridge side towards the title he helped Leicester lift last season.
Kante, 25 was on Arsenal’s radar when he was playing for Caen in France but Gunners boss Arsene Wenger held back, believing the Frenchman was not ready for the Premier League and Leicester moved in to seal his signature.
And after a spellbinding campaign in which he helped the Foxes claim their first top-flight title, a £32million summer switch to Chelsea took place.
“Did I know him before I came here? The answer is no. I do now”
Antonio Conte on Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante
But Conte is not too proud to admit he had never heard of the midfield powerhouse before arriving in England.
The Italian said: “Did I know him before I came here? The answer is no. I do now.
“I think he’s a complete midfielder, not only a defensive midfielder.
“I like when N’Golo goes to press the play in the system we are playing now, I like it a lot. N’Golo is very good.
“I remember before the game against Leicester, many people said that he is a different player compared to last year, when he played for them.
“But I said N’Golo is playing very well at the moment and we are very pleased to have him here in the side playing for us.”
“You can see in the last three league games he could have scored three goals.
“Against Hull he just missed after the ball came back off the post, against Leicester there was a deflection and then he scored against Manchester United.
“He’s a player that always arrives in the box at the right time, he has fantastic stamina and good technique.