[dropcap]N[/dropcap]’Golo Kante is a French national but at 24 years old has never had a call-up for the France team at any level. Now, with Euro 2016 looming around the corner, he is about to get his first taste of international football and it is all down to the success he has enjoyed at Leicester City.
The Foxes have been having the time of their lives in the Premier League this season and are writing one of the greatest stories in football history. One of the main authors of this story has been Kante, who has been the stand-out holding midfielder in the league during Leicester’s onslaught on the established hierarchy. Many fans will now be eager to pick up tickets to the King Power Stadium from sites like www.ticketgum.com to see how this fairy-tale season ends.
The £5.6million signing was Claudio Ranieri’s first of the summer and what a lucrative deal that has turned out to be. The midfield pairing of Kante and Danny Drinkwater has been outstanding and has helped Leicester get to their current position. In comparison, Manchester United spent around £38million on Morgan Schneiderlin and Bastian Schweinsteiger in the summer – both of whom have failed to make an impact at Old Trafford. It is clear which team got the better deal and, ironically, it looks as though Kante will now force Schneiderlin out of the France starting XI.
Kante and Paul Pogba would form a formidable pairing in midfield for France at the Euros if Didier Descamps decides that is how the team will line up. The Leicester midfielder leads the Premier League statistics by a long way in interceptions and tackles won. His hunger and ferocity to win the ball back in the centre of the park has been key to much of Leicester’s counter-attacks this season, as the Frenchman wins the ball back and then looks to move it quickly to Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy.
Kante has been the obvious choice for many to partner Pogba in France’s strong looking squad for the Euros. National squad selectors would be wise to take into account form when picking their squads for the competition.
As the Foxes continue their push for the league title, their players will build up more momentum that could propel them into starting positions for their respective countries. Vardy has already had a taste of football at international level after his early season success and that continued form could see him partnering Harry Kane up front in the upcoming competition. There is also a strong argument for including Marc Albrighton while at the same time there is a debate about Danny Drinkwater.
The fact that these players are being considered by international managers to play on the world stage is testimony to how much Leicester have achieved this season. And if they can bring the same magic to their national teams, they may just find that they are some of the most sought after players in the world in the summer.
[dropcap]L[/dropcap]eicester City manager Claudio Ranieri has pleased with his team result against Newcastle United, who recently appointed Rafa Benitez as their manager. He also said the title race is still a tough one to decide.
Shinji Okazaki scored only goal of the match and help his side to maintain their five points lead with second place Tottenham.
All eyes are waiting to see the new Champions in Premier league 2015-16. Ranieri is having more cautious and pressure, after this crucial match.
“When you change a manager, players want to show their attitude, and plus, the Newcastle players are very good, I am sure at the end they will be safe [from relegation].
“For this reason, I was waiting for a difficult match and it wasn’t one of our best performances but we showed our fantastic spirit.
“In the first half, we conceded too many dangerous actions and in the second half, we were a little more concentrated and won the first and second balls. In the first half, we lost so many balls.
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He added: “It was important somebody scored the goal and then we defended very well. In this moment, it is important for us to play and to fight.”
“It wasn’t a nervous second half, it was maybe much better in the second half because the team was so close and so compact,” he added. “In the first half, they came too many times through the middle and had some good actions.
“Not always did we play well. We played well for example against Aston Villa and West Bromwich but we drew those matches 1-1 and 2-2.
“Now we play not so good as those games but we won. That is important – three points. There are eight matches to go and we continue. Our fans are dreaming and are proud of us. That’s important for us and we’ll carry on.”
“I feel I am very concentrated on the next match against Crystal Palace, and it will be another tough match,” he continued.
“Our concentration is important, we are so strong and we think about only one match. Step by step, that is our philosophy.”
Riyad Mahrez, who is one of the instrumental players for Leicester City’s to reach top position in Premier League table, said he will continue with club.
24-year-old transferred from Le Havre for £350,000 and netted 11 goals and 15 assists so far on this season. They all top teams other than Arsenal in Premier League matches.
He is the radar of Arsenal and Tottenham, but young Algerian decided to stay at King Power Stadium.
He said: “It would be best for me to stay,”
“I will not leave in January, it would not be good for my team if I left. If you lose an item like me or [N’Golo] Kante or Vardy, it may penalise the team.
“I prefer to continue with the team until the end of the year.”
Mahrez also understands the difficulties being a small squad compare with other title challengers.
“No, we will not be,” he added when asked if Leicester could be champions.
“The squad does not have broad enough shoulders. The other teams have bigger numbers. At one point, they’ll take over.”