Belfast Telegraph

N’Golo Kante commits long-term future to Chelsea

The France midfielder has been ever-present for the Blues this season.

Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante has signed a new five-year deal at Stamford Bridge.

France international Kante, 27, signed from Leicester in the summer of 2016, has been ever-present in Maurizio Sarri’s side this season.

“N’Golo Kante has today extended his stay at Stamford Bridge by signing a new five-year contract,” Chelsea said on their official website on Friday.

Kante added: “I’m happy to extend my time with Chelsea, it has been two beautiful years and I wish for more to come.

“Since I came, I completely improved as a player, challenged myself and got some awards I never thought about.”

Kante, whose new deal will keep him at Chelsea until 2023, signed a five-year contract when he joined the club in July 2016 from Leicester for a fee reported to be around £30million.

He arrived in England the previous summer when signed from Caen for £6m by Leicester, who he helped win the Premier League title in his first season. He was also named PFA and FWA player of the year.

Kante finished the 2016-17 campaign as a Premier League champion again with Chelsea and played a key role for France in Russia last summer when they won the World Cup.

Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia said: “We are delighted N’Golo has signed a new contract and sees his long-term future with Chelsea.

“When he arrived, we knew we had signed a special player but he has astounded everybody with his tireless and unselfish displays.

“Off the pitch, he remains a dedicated professional and a humble human being despite the fact he is a world champion and a two-time Premier League winner.

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N’Golo Kante, right, started for France in their World Cup final win against Croatia last summer (Owen Humphreys/PA)

“We now look forward to five more years with N’Golo at the heart of the Chelsea midfield.”

Kante made a total of 48 appearances in all competitions for Chelsea last season, scoring one goal, and has featured in 20 games in the current campaign.

Sarri welcomed Kante’s contract extension and called on the player to add goals to his game.

“N’Golo for us is not just an important player, he’s a ‘determining’ player,” Sarri said.

“He’s very important for us in the defensive phase, but he is improving in the offensive movements. Now he has to improve in the last 20, 25 metres. He can score more.”

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