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Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel believes N’Golo Kante is key to the club winning trophies, declaring the midfielder to be the ‘dream’ player for any coach.
Kante has been crucial to the Blues’ last three pieces of silverware. He starred in midfield during his debut campaign as they won the 2016-17 Premier League title.
He has since added an FA Cup in 2018 and the Europa League a year later, and could repeat his FA Cup triumph and also enjoy Champions League glory still this season.
Kante joined from Leicester City in 2016 after playing a big role in the Foxes’ shock title win and will be looking to help Chelsea win the league under Tuchel next term.
The 30-year-old has played in 19 of Tuchel’s 23 matches in charge of Chelsea. Successive hamstring injuries have prevented the Frenchman from featuring in the remaining games, which included the shock 5-2 defeat against West Bromwich Albion.
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And Tuchel believes he is the kind of player that every team aspiring to win trophies should be built around.
He even hinted at previously trying to sign Kante. In March, Kante revealed that he had snubbed a move to Paris-Saint-Germain, then managed by Tuchel, claiming that he was happy to remain at Chelsea.
“He is the guy you need to win trophies. That is why I am so, so happy he is here [at Chelsea],” Tuchel said ahead of the Blues’ Champions League semi-final second leg against Real Madrid, in which Kante will be expected to start.
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“I have dreamed about this player, fighting for this player at any club I was coaching at and now he is my player.
“For me he is an example, an unbelievable input for any team in the world. He will be key.
“He is a nice guy, almost a shy person. He is quiet, he likes his own quality time and he is not loud.
“I see him smile a lot, very shy and polite but I am so happy that players like him exist. It is a pleasure to watch.
“What he is doing with his mentality, a real helper, always gives everything to help anybody on the pitch and such a nice, humble and quiet guy.”
Kante has twice won the Premier League and was also a World Cup winner with France in 2018.
But the Champions League has always evaded him. Tuchel has backed the former Caen man to add the most prestigious trophy in European football to his array of honours.
Chelsea drew 1-1 with Madrid in last week’s semi-final first leg and host the La Liga giants on Wednesday.
“He has won many trophies except for the Champions League. I am sure he will be doing everything to get this trophy,” the 47-year-old added.
“I see him interact with everybody, but on his own terms. Still, he needs to accept that I will cuddle him, I do this a lot!”
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