Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante has been named the Premier League Player of the Year.
The summer signing from champions Leicester City has claimed the award ahead of the likes of Dele Alli, Alexis Sanchez, Danny Rose and Blues team-mate Diego Costa.
Kante proved to be one of the stand-out performers in Leicester’s remarkable title triumph in 2015-16 and has been similarly effective since moving to Stamford Bridge.
The midfielder has proved an ever-present in manager Antonio Conte’s midfield, making 30 appearances in all competitions and scoring one goal.
His 266 tackles are more than any other player since he arrived in the Premier League. He has more to his game than just winning the ball, though – with an 88 percent passing accuracy and 1,551 passes in the league this season.
He ranks fifth for passes in the Premier League and sixth for touches this season, showing that he is always involved in the action.
He earned his first honour of the season on Thursday: the Premier League Player of the Year at the London Football Awards. This should be the first of many. He may not score beautiful goals like Alexis Sanchez or give interviews like Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but no player is as consistent in their performance during 90 minutes than the Paris-born star.
There was further recognition for Chelsea on the night, with Conte receiving the award for the best manager in London.
Premier League rival Mauricio Pochettino was also nominated, although the Italian claimed the prize having only joined the Blues in the summer.
Conte has guided Chelsea to 20 league wins from 26 matches thus far this season, with the west Londoners 10 points clear of second-placed Tottenham and closing in on the title.