Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante has today revealed that Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho called him up personally prior to him joining Chelsea in an attempt to persuade the Frenchman to join him at Old Trafford.
Kante enjoyed a marvellous campaign with Leicester City last season. He played a key role in the Foxes’ historic Premier League title triumph and whilst Chelsea won the battle for the midfielder’s signature, Kante confirmed that there was interest from Manchester United.
The 25-year-old stated that Jose Mourinho called him earlier in the summer to discuss a potential move, but with talks between himself and Chelsea already at an advanced stage he declined Mourinho’s offer and instead joined up with Antonio Conte at Stamford Bridge.
Whilst missing out on Kante may have felt like a huge blow for Mourinho at the time, the Portuguese manager certainly made up for it shortly after by breaking the world transfer record to re-sign Paul Pogba back from Juventus.
N’Golo Kante is without question a talented footballer but he isn’t in the same league as Pogba. On his arrival, Mourinho stated that he was looking for specialists in specific areas across the pitch to take United back to the top of English football, and he has delivered on his word.
The French international offers Chelsea incredible work rate, top notch tackling and can clean up the midfield when it matters most. However, Kante doesn’t bring goals to the side, nor does he bring with him many assists.
In Kante we would have been getting a player who has thus far only proven himself for one season. Previously in his career the midfielder has failed to produce even half of the outstanding performances he put in throughout Leicester’s title-winning campaign. Signing a player on the back of one good season would have been a gamble for Mourinho and he nor the club were in a position to do that.
Having the likes of Morgan Schneiderlin, Ander Herrera, Michael Carrick, Maraoune Fellaini and Timothy Fosu-Mensah already at the club fighting for those central midfield slots made signing Kante ever more questionable. Would Kante have been guaranteed a starting place in that Manchester United midfield? Probably not is the answer. His work rate on the ball can be arguably matched by Ander Herrera, whilst his sweeping and clearing up of the midfield can be likened to what Morgan Schneiderlin does. Whereas in signing Paul Pogba he would, and already has been called straight into the starting eleven. He remains far superior to our other midfield options, unlike Kante.
Chelsea’s new signing is undoubtedly a very good midfielder who will probably go on to become a successful signing for the Blues, but in the end he just wasn’t what we were looking for.