N’Golo Kante vs Nemanja Matic: Did Chelsea Make The Right Decision In Signing Kante?

Antonio Conte got one of the biggest stars from last season’s Premier League into the Chelsea team. The Blues managed to sign N’Golo Kante from Leicester City and there is no doubt that the 25-year-old French midfielder would directly go into the Chelsea starting line-up for this season.

The signing of the talented midfielder does cast a doubt over the role of Nemanja Matic and also his future at the club. Chelsea did splash the cash in bringing the Frenchman but did they really need to sign him when they had the Serbian? After all, Matic did have an impressive 14/15 season and most of the Chelsea players had a poor campaign last time around.

Antonio Conte might be looking to play two defensive midfielders this season and the pairing of Matic and Kante would surely lead them to glory, if only Matic can play to a similar level to what he did a couple of years ago.

We take a look at the 14/15 season for Matic and compare that with Kante’s last season at Leicester with the help of Squawka.com. We would only be looking at the per 90 minute averages for certain stats so as to see just what each player did in their respective seasons.

The Serbian tank vs. the French destroyer

Passing is the obviously the first place we need to see which player did better. Surprisingly it is Matic who had the better pass completion percentage in the 14/15 season with an 86% completion rate compared with Kante’s 82% last season.

Even though Leicester player a more direct game with long balls to Jamie Vardy, it is Matic who had the greater length of passes with an average of 17.86m compared to 16.59 for Kante, which is another surprising stat when comparing the duo.

When it comes to the crunch of tackling, there is not beating the Leicester City midfielder with the 25-year-old winning 3.72 tackles last season while Matic came in with 2.91 in the 14/15 season for the Blues.

However, when it comes to taking on other players it is the Serbian who has a better percentage of successful take ons with 78.79% compared to just 58.02% for Kante, which states that he isn’t the best at beating other players with the ball at his feet.

Even when it comes to battling in the air, it is Matic who had a better season in the 14/15 campaign with 2.16 aerial duels won compared to just 1.13 for Kante in the title winning season last time around.

But the French midfielder doesn’t need to beat other players, his ability to read passes and intercept the opposition’s ball is another thing to marvel at and he did finish last season with 4.64 interceptions per 90 minutes which shatters Matic’s 2.10 interceptions per 90 in the 14/15 season.

It does seem that Matic and Kante could very well play together as one compensates for the other in most departments. Chelsea did require someone who can do the things that Matic cannot and it does seem that they did make the right decision in getting the French midfielder; the only question that remains is how Matic would fit in at the Blues.

Written by Kevin Harrison

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