N’Golo Kanté voted Footballer of Year by Football Writers’ Association

Midfielder also won Professional Footballers’ Association Player of the Year trophy

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte celebrates with N’Golo Kante after beating Everton. Photograph: Reuters

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte celebrates with N’Golo Kante after beating Everton. Photograph: Reuters

 

Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kanté has been voted the 2017 Footballer of the Year by the Football Writers’ Association.

The France international topped the poll of the 340-strong membership ahead of Blues team-mate Eden Hazard, with Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli in third place.

Between them, Blues duo Kanté and Hazard, who was the 2015 Footballer of the Year, collected more than 65per cent of the journalists’ votes, which were spread over a record number of 17 different players.

Kanté was instrumental in Leicester’s shock Premier League triumph last season and following his £32m summer switch to west London, the midfielder looks set to collect a second successive championship medal with Chelsea now needing just two more victories to secure the title.

The 26-year-old will receive the prestigious FWA accolade, which has been awarded since 1948, at a gala dinner in London on May 18th when the association marks its 70th anniversary.

“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 of this country to name me as their Footballer of the Year is a very proud moment in my career,” said Kanté, who last month collected the Professional Footballers’ Association Player of the Year trophy.

Five Chelsea players were nominated by FWA members, with David Luiz, Diego Costa and César Azpilicueta also receiving votes.

Kanté in numbers

32- Kanté’s transfer fee from champions Leicester - £3million less than Arsenal spent on Granit Xhaka and roughly a third of the fee Manchester United paid for Paul Pogba.

25 - Premier League wins for Kanté this season in 33 appearances - two more than he enjoyed in 37 games for Leicester last term.

114 - tackles made, ranking him second in the Premier League behind Idrissa Gueye.

79 - interceptions, the joint-fifth highest in the league and most of any Chelsea player.

2,011 - passes completed, the sixth-highest in the league.

2,959 - minutes played, the third most of any Chelsea outfield player.

9 - yellow cards.

0 - red cards.

1 - league goal scored, against Manchester United - opponents he also scored against in the FA Cup.

1 - he is close to becoming the first player to win back-to-back Premier League titles with different clubs.

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