Everton steal a march on Chelsea with stunning signing

By Mark Peters IN General,Premier League,Transfers - 20:00 Oct 9th 2016

If there was one season that highlighted the importance of having a ball-winning midfielder in your side, then it was the 2015/16 Premier League campaign.

N’Golo Kante arrived at Leicester City to very little fanfare and promptly dominated the division, helping the Foxes to secure the most unlikely of title successes.

The midfield dynamo missed just a single game, with the East Midlands outfit looking far more vulnerable defensively as they were held to a 2-2 draw by West Brom:

N'Golo Kante
POS: MIDAGE: 25Y 6M
HEIGHT: 5FT 7INWEIGHT: 10ST 9LB
 
PL | LEI | 15/1615/16 15/16 | LEI | PL
WITHWITHOUT
37
MATCHES
1
62%
WIN%
30%
DRAW%
100%
8%
LOSS%
66
GOALS FOR
2
34
GOALS AGAINST
2
1.8
GOALS F
PER GAME
2
0.9
GOALS A
PER GAME
2
50.5
MINS PER
GOALS F
45
97.9
MINS PER
GOALS A
45
10.2
SHOTS F
PER GAME
15
2.2
POINTS
PER GAME
1
15
CLEAN SHEETS
9
TOTAL
4

At the other end of the table, Idrissa Gana Gueye was making waves in a woeful Aston Villa side, impressing with his energy and determination in the middle of the park.

The 27-year-old’s efforts weren’t enough to save his side from relegation, though failure to secure a point or a clean sheet in the three matches that he missed emphasised his importance in relative terms:

Idrissa Gueye
POS: MIDAGE: 27Y 0M
HEIGHT: 5FT 8INWEIGHT: 10ST 5LB
 
PL | AVL | 15/1615/16 15/16 | AVL | PL
WITHWITHOUT
35
MATCHES
3
9%
WIN%
23%
DRAW%
69%
LOSS%
100%
24
GOALS FOR
3
69
GOALS AGAINST
7
0.7
GOALS F
PER GAME
1
2
GOALS A
PER GAME
2.3
131.3
MINS PER
GOALS F
90
45.7
MINS PER
GOALS A
38.6
7.3
SHOTS F
PER GAME
7.3
0.5
POINTS
PER GAME
6
CLEAN SHEETS
9
TOTAL
3

As a result of their stellar showings, both men were on the move last summer, with Kante joining Antonio Conte’s Stamford Bridge revolution and Gueye following Ronald Koeman to Goodison Park.

Chelsea were reported to have paid more than four times as much for the French international as Everton shelled out on the former Lille midfielder, but how have the pair measured up in 2016/17?

N’GOLO KANTE VS IDRISSA GANA GUEYE

According to a Daily Mail article which makes use of OPTA statistics, both men are amongst the Premier League leaders in a trio of categories.

There is little to separate the duo when it comes to touches of the ball, with Gueye at 565 and Kante slightly behind him at 558.

Incredibly, 452 passes have been made by both midfielders, but it is the Everton man who leads the way when it comes to their bread and butter, managing 36 tackles to the Chelsea star’s 21.

THOUGHTS

These two are both brilliant at what they do, but it is Koeman who is getting the best out of his midfield enforcer by allowing him the freedom to dominate the middle of the park.

Antonio Conte’s restrictive tactics have seen Kante confined to too deep a role, preventing him from driving forward with the ball in the way that he did at Leicester.

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