Former Leicester City defender Robert Huth believes Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante is the most influential player in world football.
The German defender is currently without a club after leaving the Foxes at the end of the 2017-18 season. However, he played a key role in the club’s unlikely Premier League title win in 2015-16, playing a total of 35 games as the club won the league by 10 points.
It could be argued, though, that no player was more important to the club’s victory than Kante, playing 37 times in central midfield. Kante joined the club at the same time as Huth, and he has since moved on to Chelsea, where he was won the Premier League again, and also become integral for France, winning the World Cup in Russia over the summer.
It is perhaps unsurprising, then, that Huth readily waxes lyrical about the star. “He’s the best player I played with. Of course in skill Hazard is better, gets people off their feet. Ronaldo, Messi… I get all that, I really do. But in terms of impact on a game it’s Kante,” he told The Times.
“His brain works completely different to other footballers.” Despite his incredible rise, Kante is widely regarded as a quiet man off the pitch, and even watched Match of the Day at a fan’s house this season, per a widely-shared Twitter post.
And Huth testifies to the same effect, with the 27-year-old one of football’s most humble players. “Our longest conversation was, ‘Good morning’. When I first met him I thought he was rude,” he added. “In the canteen at Leicester I say hello and he just goes ‘Mmm.’ But you learn he’s not being rude, he’s being quiet, embarrassed how good he is. You can see it now when he scores a goal — he’s embarrassed.
“It’s no coincidence we won the league, then Chelsea won it, then France won the World Cup. He’ll change any team, he is that good and that smart a footballer.”