Kante named Football Writers' Player of the Year

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The Chelsea star has picked up another award after he was selected as the Premier League's top performer for the season by football journalists

Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante has been named as the 2016-17 Football Writers' Player of the Year.

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The 26-year-old has helped Chelsea take top spot in the Premier League following his title-winning campaign with Leicester City last season.

Kante was previously awarded the PFA Players' Player of the Year award this season, and was named in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year for the second year running.

"It is a fantastic honour to win this award," he said.

"With so many great players in this Chelsea squad and in the Premier League, for the Football Writers' Association to name me their Footballer of the Year is a very proud moment in my career."

The France international has played 33 times in the league for Conte's men this season, scoring one and creating another, but it has been the defensive contribution that he has made to his side that has most readily caught the eye.

Last month, international team-mate Paul Pogba hailed the former Caen player as having the ability "to run for 11 players", a comment that is reflected by the fact that he has attempted 114 tackles this season - a tally bettered only by Everton's Idrissa Gueye.

However, Cesc Fabregas believes there is more to Kante's game than that.

HD N'Golo Kante Chelsea

"Now N’Golo is becoming famous for chasing around and making tackles that recover the ball and end up in goals, but he does other things very well," the Spaniard explained in Chelsea's pre-match programme prior to the FA Cup victory over Manchester United. "But because this is now his reputation, people just look into this and they don’t look to see if he does something else."

Claiming this award is the latest chapter in an astonishing rise for the Paris-born player, who was with Caen this time two years ago.

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Although he was well thought of in Ligue 1 circles, he was an unknown outside his home country until moving to Leicester last season. Under Claudio Ranieri, he became on of his side's most important players, though he missed out on the Players' Player of the Year award to Riyad Mahrez and the Football Writers' gong to Jamie Vardy. 

Since moving to Chelsea in the summer for £32 million, he has maintained his terrific level of form and has been widely regarded as one of the chief reasons in the Stamford Bridge side's dramatic improvement over the course of the last 12 months. 

Kante follows in the footsteps of club-mate Eden Hazard, who did the same double in season 2014-15 and was one of three men shortlisted for this award, with the other beaten nominee Tottenham's Dele Alli.