Manchester City are taking this international break as a chance to snap up potential new signings, according to reports from France.
They say that towards the top of Guardiola’s wish list is Leicester City star N’Golo Kante, who has exploded onto the scene with his performances this season. The report suggests that a meeting with Kante’s representatives has been planned.
Almost certainly the best central midfielder in the division over the last seven months, Kante has been a huge reason in Leicester’s shocking title bid. A tireless work rate combined with intelligent defensive qualities, opposition sides have found Leicester very difficult to play against because of Kante.
Manchester City’s lethargic midfield is certainly in need of a player like Kante, who currently only earns £25,000 per week. It is presumed that Leicester would happily increase that wage, but whether that will be enough is another matter. Kante has refused to rule out a summer move, but has said he wants to stay in England, so this link does make sense.
Recently selected for the France squad for the first time in his career, the 24-year-old’s stock is going up and up and Guardiola is wise to move sooner rather than later in order to get a good deal.
So how does Kante compare to Manchester City’s current midfield? A stat that I cannot source is the distance covered, but I am confident that the French midfielder would top the list.
These stats sourced from Squawka highlight the defensive efficiency of Kante. His tackles won per game (3.6) is quite remarkable and blows all of the Manchester City players out of the water. The same can be said for his interceptions (4.73). What is also impressive is that despite all these tackles, he commits just 1.2 fouls per game and has picks up a yellow card just one in ten games. His pass completion rate of 82% may have to improve if he is to succeed in a Pep Guardiola system, but I am sure he is capable of refining that area of his game.
It can be argued that Kante would improve any Premier League team, so how much is he worth? A fee of around £20million has been mooted, but I am sure that Leicester, if they do sell, will hold out for a lot more than that. Considering the current climate of the market, you would expect Kante to be valued in excess of £25million.
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