N’Golo Kante wins Football Writers’ Association player of the year award as Chelsea midfielder adds to PFA gong
N’Golo Kante has won the FWA Footballer of the Year award
Kante and his Chelsea team are on the verge of winning the Premier League
The French midfielder has inspired since joining from Leicester last summer
He completes a double, having won the PFA Player of the Year award too
Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante has been voted the 2017 Footballer of the Year by the Football Writers’ Association.
Kante is on the verge of becoming the first player to win the Premier League title with two different clubs in successive seasons, having inspired Chelsea to touching distance of glory this term after playing a huge role in Leicester’s fairytale last year.
The FWA gong – football’s oldest individual award – completes an outstanding double for the 26-year-old Frenchman, after his dynamic displays in midfield landed him this year’s prestigious PFA Player of the Year award, which is voted for by his fellow professionals.
N’Golo Kante has been named as the player of the year by the Football Writers’ Association
Kante has already picked up the prestigious PFA Player of the Year award this season
Kante is the 18th man to win the PFA and FWA awards in the same season, with former Arsenal striker Thierry Henry and ex-Manchester United winger Cristiano Ronaldo completing the double twice.
Kante pipped his Chelsea team-mate Eden Hazard to the FWA award, despite the Belgian playmaker’s outstanding season, on the 70th Anniversary of the FWA. Tottenham’s Dele Alli came third.
Kante, who signed for Chelsea for £32million last summer, said: ‘It is a fantastic honour to win this award. 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.’
Between them, Kante and Hazard polled more than 65 per cent of the votes. The likes of Diego Costa, Alexis Sanchez and Zlatan Ibrahimovic also picked up votes, along with some less likely candidates, including West Brom goalkeeper Ben Foster and Brighton winger Anthony Knockaert.
FWA Chairman Patrick Barclay added: ‘N’Golo Kante could not be a more deserving winner of English football’s most prestigious individual award.
‘In the view of some FWA members, he would have been a worthy recipient last season for his contribution to Leicester’s title success, but the almost unbroken excellent form of Chelsea since he changed clubs has left little room for further debate.
‘Considering the competition of Eden Hazard and other players from Chelsea in particular, this is a great achievement.’
Kante and Chelsea will be crowned Premier League champions on Friday night if they win against Middlesbrough on Monday and then against Watford four days later.