Kante will help lift the Blues: Conte

'GOOD TECHNIQUE, FANTASTIC STAMINA': Kante (in No. 5 jersey) is Chelsea's second major signing this month following that of Batshuayi. He provided bite in midfield for Leicester City when they won the EPL crown last season. PHOTO: REUTERS


    Jul 18, 2016

    Kante will help lift the Blues: Conte


    CHELSEA coach Antonio Conte hailed the signing of N'Golo Kante after the France international joined from Premier League champions Leicester City on Saturday.

    Kante, 25, became Chelsea's second major signing this month, following the arrival of Michy Batshuayi from Marseille, after the Blues paid a reported £32 million (S$56.9 million) for the defensive midfielder.

    Said Conte, after watching Chelsea lose 2-0 to Rapid Vienna in his first match in charge: "He's a good player. He has good technique, fantastic stamina and I like this type of player. If you want to win, then a team needs this type of player that works hard for the team."

    Conte fielded an experienced side with John Terry named as captain for Saturday's pre-season friendly against Rapid in the Austrian capital.

    The Italian also handed starts to several first-team regulars including Diego Costa, Nemanja Matic, Willian and Branislav Ivanovic.

    The English giants fell behind when Brazilian teenager Joelinton scored after just eight minutes.

    Chelsea academy product Ola Aina fired against the post in the second half. However, Rapid struck again through Tomi Correa on 82 minutes.

    Conte, who steered an unfancied Italy side into the quarter-finals of Euro 2016 before losing to Germany on penalties, said Chelsea's ultimate goal this season was to challenge for the title after a lowly 10th-place finish last term.

    "We'll work very hard because we want to come back and compete for the title until the end of the season. I know there is a lot of work to do but we are ready," he added.