Wenger fuels Kante rumours by lavishing praise on the Arsenal target
Arsene Wenger heaped lavish praise on N’Golo Kante, thus fueling rumours that the Arsenal manager is preparing to seriously pursue the Leicester City man. Kante has excelled in the defensive midfield role for the Foxes, propelling them to an unprecedented Premier League title, thus becoming a target for most of Europe’s top clubs, with the Gunners leading the chase.
Wenger made the comments in his role as a TV pundit for BeIN Sports ahead of the 2016 Euros, in which Kante will take part as a member of the French national side. The Arsenal manager was incredibly complimentary about the defensive midfielder, which will set tongues wagging for sure, saying “I admire and like N'Golo Kante a lot - it gives you ideas.”
Wenger is notorious for trusting stats when identifying targets, and Kante does not disappoint, with the Alsatian revealing his admiration, saying “He gives you the feeling that the higher the level he plays at, the more at ease he is. We are talking about numbers. He has the most interceptions in Europe and by far.”
Kante had the most interceptions and tackles won in the 2015/16 Premier League season, making 120 interceptions and winning 93 tackles at a staggering 62% success rate.
Kante is the perfect defensive midfielder
Wenger went on to further describe the qualities he expects an ideal defensive midfielder to possess with Kante being the perfect candidate, saying “"He has incredible quality. He feels the game, only very few people can do that. He's always where he needs to be. It is very rare to have that in the central midfielder. Not always orthodox, but always in the right place.”
Kante has been highly sought after by Arsenal, if reports in the British press are to be believed. However, the purchase of Granit Xhaka, who can play the defensive midfield role quelled the rumours, but Wenger’s comments are sure to ignite speculation.
Kante himself has said that he will only decide his future after the Euros, where he is expected to star for Didier Deschamps’ side in the base of midfield, with France considered to be one of the favourites.
Kante’s release clause is reportedly £20 million, but a stellar performance at the 2016 European Championships will do his reputation and subsequent transfer fee no harm, with Wenger already having activated Vardy’s release cause.