Frank Lampard has hailed N’Golo Kante after the Chelsea midfielder’s fine performance against Newcastle.
The Blues ran out 2-0 winners at St James’ Park on Saturday, with Kante shining at the base of a midfield three.
The former Leicester man was linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge in the summer.
But Lampard explained that Kante is integral to his plans in west London after watching his team move up to second in the Premier League table.
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“I know what you mean by quietly influential but he's much more than that for us,” he told reporters.
“Last year he missed 50% of the games with injuries, he had a tough time for different reasons and we are working very hard on that to get him fit and fresh.
“Now we are managing his training and game time, but his levels of performances are really high.
“I keep saying every time I get asked about N'Golo that I have so much faith in him and the top midfield player that he is in world football.
“Not just breaking up and winning balls back, as we know that is a huge quality of his, but his passing and supporting in midfield and playing in that deeper role now has been a very comfortable transition for him. Really, really happy with him.
“I don't want to tempt fate as at the minute he is going well. It's a constant one for us where we are managing it.
“When I came in at the start of last season he had been injured from the Europa League final and that just rolled on through the year so we just chased it down from there. That was unfortunate and so unfortunate for us to lose him for 50 per cent of the games because of the level of player he is.
“We have had a better period of him to get him in a place where we are really happy with.
“We're aware and we keep check on his training and numbers and how much distance he travels because every time you train and allow him off the leash in training he makes ridiculous output because of the way he plays.
“We are very careful with that and at the minute we are in a good place and hopefully that continues.”
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