It wasn’t exactly unexpected, but N’Golo Kante’s move to Chelsea is certainly a disappointment. Kante was one of the main reasons why Leicester won the league last season. Having arrived there as an unknown quantity this time last season, Kante took the Premier League by storm, winning rave reviews as he formed a one man screen in front of the Foxes’ defence as they defied the odds to become champions.
It was a superb story for all football romantics, and made several Leicester players into household names. This inevtiably would mean they were in demand during this summer’s transfer window. But Claudio Ranieri, Leicester fans and many neutrals would have hoped that the squad would stay together, and at least have a crack at the Champions League.
And it all looked so promising just a few weeks ago, when Jamie Vardy rejected a move to Arsenal and pledged his future to Leicester by signing a new contract. Sadly, Kante has decided not to follow suit, and has made his move to Chelsea.
The reason for this can only be financial. Chelsea aren’t in the Champions League, having finished well down the table last season. So this is not a move based on ambition or a desire to prove himself against the best players. He could have done that by staying at Leicester. At Chelsea, he can’t – at least not this season. This is a move that can only be about the money, and for those still lost in the romance of Leicester’s unlikely title win, this is a huge shame.
Gary Lineker certainly thought so.
Seems Kanté is going to join Conte, which is pretty cunty.
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) July 15, 2016
Thoughts will now turn to Mahrez, who will also be the subject of interest from richer clubs. If he stays, that’s 2 from 3 who stayed loyal, and faith in the impossible dream will be restored. If he leaves, the cheque book continues to rule at the expense of loyalty and ambition.
Needless to say I hope he stays, but I’m by no means confident. As ever, it’s all about the Benjamins.