Paul Pogba has told Thomas Tuchel his irreplaceable Chelsea star
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Paul Pogba believes N’Golo Kante has already become an indispensable member of Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea squad. And the Manchester United star even believes he should beat icons Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to this year’s Ballon d’Or award.
Kante was a highly-influential figure as Tuchel guided Chelsea to their second Champions League crown in his first-full season in charge.
The Frenchman earned the man-of-the-match award in the showpiece final against Manchester City in Porto.
He completely dominated the midfield in the Estadio Do Dragao as Pep Guardiola’s men failed to gain any control.
Tuchel’s achievement from turning Chelsea’s mid-season slump into European glory, an FA Cup final and top finish is all the more impressive as he is yet to make his own mark on the squad.
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But Kante’s imperious showings in the final few months of the season prove he is already irreplaceable for the German boss.
And Pogba believes his French teammate has been so impressive he deserves to win football’s most coveted individual prize.
“What I would like to say to the whole world is that the ‘NG’ we have seen in recent months has always been the same,” he told Eurosport.
“We talk a lot about his performances but he has always been as good as ever.
“There was no Cristiano and Messi in the semi-final [of the Champions League], so it’s good to see the performances of the midfielders or even the defenders.
“I said a long time ago that it would be appropriate, if Chelsea won, for him to win the Ballon d’Or. It would be deserved too.
“He’s always performing well. I’m not surprised what he’s doing, I’m just surprised that he’s still doing it. He has always played matches like that.”
Pogba is likely to line up alongside Kante at this summer’s Euros in an ominous looking French side packed with elite stars.
But the 28-year-old has insisted Didier Deschamps’ side must not get complacent ahead of the tournament.
“We have a PlayStation team but it will remain a PlayStation team if we don’t win a trophy,” Pogba added.
“We have to live up to expectations and there’ll be even more expected with Karim’s [Benzema] return.
“It’s nice to see a team sheet like that… It’s always an honour but you always have to be present on the pitch.
“Being world champions and having a team like that, we will be expected to do even more.
“We must remain humble. I want to give this message: it’s not a foregone conclusion. We hear a lot of talk but we keep our feet on the ground.”
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