(Reuters) - French international midfielder N’Golo Kante has committed his long-term future to Chelsea by signing a new five-year contract, the Premier League club said on Friday.
Kante, who joined Chelsea in 2016, helped them win the title in his first season at Stamford Bridge and was rewarded for his consistent play by being named player of the year by the Professional Footballers’ Association and Football Writers’ Association.
“I’m happy to extend my time with Chelsea. It has been two beautiful years and I wish for more to come,” the 27-year-old two-time Premier League winner said in a statement.
“Since I came, I completely improved as a player, challenged myself and got some awards I never thought about. I like the city, I like the club and I am happy to be here for more time.”
Kante tasted his first Premier League title triumph with Leicester City in the 2015-16 season and also started all seven matches for France as they lifted the World Cup in Russia earlier this year.
Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri was pleased that the club had tied down the influential Kante to a new long term deal.
“I’m very happy with the new contract. I am pleased for him and it’s important news... He’s important defensively, but he can score more and he can improve in the final 25 metres of the pitch,” Sarri told a news conference.
Asked if there was any progress in a new deal for playmaker Eden Hazard, Sarri added: “I don’t know the movement of the contract. He’s doing well... I hope we can do (a new contract).”
Unbeaten Chelsea, who are third in the table, face fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.
“They’re playing good football. They are a strong team, are competitive and will fight for a Champions League position for sure. We have to make sure we don’t lose the ball in our half; they are dangerous in those situations.”
Reporting by Hardik Vyas and Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by John O'Brien/Mark Heinrich