Joey Barton not buying N'Golo Kante hype

Robbie Brady and Joey Barton in the Premier League match between Burnley and Chelsea on February 12, 2017
© SilverHub
Burnley midfielder Joey Barton says that Chelsea's N'Golo Kante is simply 'in fashion' and doubts the Frenchman's ability to produce over a long-term basis.

Burnley midfielder Joey Barton has slammed suggestions that Chelsea's N'Golo Kante is currently one of the best midfielders in the European game.

Kante was key in Leicester City's Premier League success last season, while the France international has been one of Chelsea's standout players this term as the Blues close in on the English title.

A number of pundits have claimed that Kante should be awarded the PFA Player of the Year for the 2016-17 campaign, but Barton has said that the 25-year-old is simply 'in fashion', just like Dimitri Payet at West Ham United last season.

"In England, there are boxes and it is impossible to get out of them," Barton told Le Journal du Dimanche. "At the moment, for example, everyone swears by N'Golo Kante. It's fashionable. For pundits, he's the best midfielder in the world. That's not the case – he's very good, but I played against him three weeks ago.

"He's a phenomenal destroyer who played in a phenomenal team, but he's not a creator. And it's impossible to be so definitive with a player who has not played in the Champions League. Two years ago, no-one knew who he was and I was surprised that the scouts missed him. I'm sceptical, like Dimitri Payet.

"He was incredible last season with West Ham, which surprised everyone, including me. When I was with Marseille and he played with Lille, he was only seen against Sochaux and Brest – never in the big games. It was the same with OM afterwards."

"But in England, it was different after his first game. Except, no big club made a move for him: it was China or Marseille? Why? We focus too much on a player when he works well, we don't focus on how he behaves in difficulty. If you look at Zlatan Ibrahimovic at PSG, he was very consistent – that's the mark of a great."

Kante, who was relatively unknown when he arrived at Leicester from Caen in the summer of 2015, has scored once in 27 Premier League appearances for Chelsea this season.

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's N'Golo Kante during the Premier League game between Chelsea and Manchester United on October 23, 2016
Read Next:
Kante: 'I don't feel like best player in PL'
>
You May Like
Recomended from Sports Mole



Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CChelsea38303585335293
2Tottenham HotspurSpurs38268486266086
3Manchester CityMan City38239680394178
4Liverpool382210678423676
5Arsenal38236977443375
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd381815554292569
7Everton3817101162441861
8Southampton381210164148-746
9Bournemouth381210165567-1246
10West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom38129174351-845
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham38129174764-1745
12Leicester CityLeicester38128184863-1544
13Stoke CityStoke381111164156-1544
14Crystal Palace38125215063-1341
15Swansea CitySwansea38125214570-2541
16Burnley38117203955-1640
17Watford38117204068-2840
RHull City3897223780-4334
RMiddlesbrough38513202753-2628
RSunderland3866262969-4024