Martin Keown compares 'immense' Chelsea star to Arsenal legends

Martin Keown heaped praise on ‘immense’ N’Golo Kante after his man-of-the-match display in the Champions League final and compared him to two of his former team-mates.

Kante put in an all-action display in Chelsea’s 1-0 win over Manchester City in Porto and Keown, the former Arsenal defender, feels he has established himself as one of the ‘greats’ of football history.

The French World Cup winner was also awarded the man of the match reward in each of the semi-final legs against Real Madrid and was instrumental to Chelsea winning a second Champions League title.

And Keown compared the midfielder to Arsenal legends Patrick Vieira and Gilberto Silva for the manner in which he makes the defence ‘feel safer’.

‘Right now, there is not a finer defensive midfielder in the world than the all-action Kante,’ Keown wrote in the Daily Mail. ‘Is he the best ever? That is hard to say. You could definitely make a case.

I was blessed to play behind Patrick Vieira and Gilberto Silva. Those players provide you with pure protection and you feel safer with them in front of you. Kante gives that to this Chelsea defence.

‘Maurizio Sarri tried playing him in a different position but Thomas Tuchel is playing him where he is at his best. Not only do we have to say Leicester found a gem in Kante but Chelsea got an absolute bargain when they spent £32 million on him in 2016.

‘The Blues had just finished 10th in the Premier League, remember, so were not even in Europe. Yet while other sides went to sleep, Chelsea signed a world beater. Every team in Europe would love to have this midfielder, with a twin engine, starting for them now.

‘Kante would have been warned to watch out for Ilkay Gundogan arriving late in the box. So he would have been astonished to see City’s top scorer in the distance, having been deployed as their deepest midfield player.

‘Now 30, Kante has won Premier League, Champions League, Europa League, FA Cup and World Cup medals.

‘He is, quite simply, one of the game’s greats.’

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