Arsenal star Laurent Koscielny believes Chelsea's midfield tyro N'Golo Kante is the best player in the Premier League.
Having powered Leicester City's fairytale title win last season, Kante looks set to lift the Premier League trophy again this season with Chelsea.
The diminutive midfielder has enjoyed a stunning season, helping Antonio Conte's 3-4-3 system flourish with a catalogue of all-action displays.
And, though Arsenal boast the likes of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez in their ranks, Koscielny believes his France colleague is the division's premier performer.
"For me he is the best player of the championship," Koscielny told a news conference ahead of Les Bleus' World Cup qualifier against Luxembourg.
"He had the aptitude to adapt in his new club, he had a difficult first month but since the loss to Arsenal, he has progressed enormously.
"When you have a player like that in midfield, who gets a lot of balls back...
"He knows what he can and cannot do. He harasses his opponents and gives the ball to his offensive players."
Arsenal are locked in the grip of what seems like a perennial crisis, having exited the Champions League with a humbling 10-2 aggregate defeat to Bayern Munich and dropping out of the title race domestically.
Arsene Wenger is reportedly weighing up the offer of a new two-year contract amid increasing discontent among certain supporters, but Koscielny claimed the Gunners players deserve to shoulder the weight of blame for another slump, rather than the manager.
"He is a very important one in my career, he shaped me as a player and as a man," the defender said.
"We are in a complicated situation but it is not only his responsibility. These are the players on the field. He prepares us all week but we have to do more to have the desired results."
Get the best features, fun and footballing frolics straight to your inbox every week.
Thank you for signing up to Four Four Two. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.