They say that Patience combined with Hard Work ultimately pays. Chelsea Star Ngolo Kante is a clear testimony to this assumption.
Five years ago, Ngolo Kante wasn’t even playing regular first team football in the French 3rd division, but let’s begin at the start of his rather incredible journey.
Kante’s influence in the past 2 years has been priceless for both club and country. The Frenchman burst into the limelight immediately he stepped to the Premier League with some rather incredible displays for Leicester City. This earned him a lucrative move to Chelsea where he won a second successive League title.
Today, Kante was rewarded with a new Lucrative Five Year deal at the Stamford Bridge Outfit. This all but confirmed is importance to the London based Club.
Upon signing his new contract, Kante said: ‘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. I like the city, I like the club and I am happy to be here for more time.’
Club director Marina Granovskaia added: ‘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.
Despite all the success achieved so far, including winning the Word Cup, Kante remains humble, he had humble beginnings before bursting to the limelight.
Kante began his career at local amateur club Suresnes
How did he develop from playing in a suburb of Paris, just across the River Seine from the Bois de Boulogne, to playing in front of 41,000 at Stamford Bridge?
After being turned down by several clubs, a 20-year-old N’Golo Kante was given a chance in Boulogne’s reserve team. During that time, he helped the side move up to the fifth division. Kante admitted back in 2016 that he only started to believe that he could make it as a professional a few years ago:
“They (Boulogne) were in the sixth tier and it was their reserve team that I played for. With the reserve team we got promoted to the fifth tier so then I at that time I moved up to the first team who were at that time playing in the third tier.
“It was when I left my own environment in Suresnes and played for Boulogne that I finally started to have a desire and a belief that I could make it as a professional footballer.” he told once told Leicester Football Club.
It may have taken him two years to be handed that highly anticipated debut but in May 2012, Kante made his professional debut on the final day of the Ligue 2 season. He appeared for already relegated Boulogne in a brief 11 minute cameo, losing 2-1 to Monaco.
It wasn’t exactly a dream debut, but it was a start and the midfielder knew the importance of taking his chances. The following season, Kante began to make an impression in the French third division and broke into Boulogne’s first team after a number of solid performances in the centre of midfield.
“At Boulogne I learned a lot of the technical and the tactic and this made me improve a lot. I wasn’t thinking to play in the Premier League or something like that at that stage, but when I went to Boulogne I had the ambition to become a professional football player and my ambition was to get in the first team.
“When I went into the first team it was a pleasure.” said Kante.
Boulogne finished in 13th place, while Kante missed just one game out of 38 during the 2012/13 campaign. It was a huge breakthrough season and Ligue 2 side Caen decided to bring the midfielder to the Stade Michel d’Ornano on a free.
It was a stroke of genius from manager Patrice Garande. Not only did Kante contribute heavily to Caen’s promotion to Ligue 1, but he helped the club maintain a place in France’s top league the following year.
In the space of three years, Kante went from playing in France’s sixth division to Ligue 1. It was a huge step up, but he proved his ability to adapt and improve. Leicester City had picked up on his unique talents.
Kante’s incredible ability to intercept and retain the ball was a perfect match for the Premier League.
Believe in Yourself, Just Do it Like Kante