Conte: I want more players like Kante at Chelsea

The Italian coach has been impressed by the midfielder's mentality and stamina and wants more players who put the team before themselves like he does

Antonio Conte has affirmed that he admires the way N’Golo Kante sacrifices himself for the team and wants more players like him in his Chelsea side.

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Kante has played every minute of Premier League football since joining the Blues for a reported £32 million in the summer from Leicester, whom they welcome to Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Conte is pleased with the way the France international has settled in at Chelsea and wants to see more players adopt his mentality.

"I think one Kante is enough," Conte said at a press conference. "These types of players who put themselves before the team, I like them a lot. I want these types of players.

"You can see that N'Golo has fantastic stamina and can cover a lot of ground. It is very important when you play offensive football to have a player that can work very well to recover the ball and win the ball.

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"He has a good metabolic system and is very good in this aspect. He is brave, he is a brave man and he has great quality."

Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri wanted Kante to stay at the club over the summer and described him as "irreplaceable," but he will face his former player for the first time after Chelsea triggered his buy-out clause.

Conte admits that Kante must have found it tough to reject Champion League football at Leicester to join Chelsea, whose 10th place finish means they will have to wait until next season at the earliest to get back into the competition.

"I don't know why he chose Chelsea [despite not being in the Champions League], you will have to ask him,” he said.

"I hope it was because of my conversation! I bought N'Golo. I think he is an important player for the present and future of Chelsea. We made a great buy to take him from Leicester.

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"He is a fantastic player. He can play with three in midfield and with two in midfield and at Leicester last season he played with Danny Drinkwater and against Hull City he played with Nemanja Matic. In other games, he played with Matic and Oscar or Matic and Cesc Fabregas, but I think he can play in both midfields."

Kante has impressed at his new club, but was criticised after the defeat to Arsenal when Mesut Ozil's skill left him exposed for the third goal; and Conte was quick to come to the defence of his midfielder.

"Sometimes N'Golo pays for his generosity and in this situation, he paid for this because he went and played to stop the opponent who then turned and went past him, but I prefer him making a mistake for the right reasons than another type of mistake.

"This was because he went to close down, not at the right time, but he went. I would prefer he went than stayed away from it. I think these two defeats are important and after these two defeats we changed something."