Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has claimed that N'Golo Kante has proved in the early weeks of the Premier League season that he is the best player in the division.
The France international was crowned PFA Player of the Year for 2016-17 after playing a key part in the Blues' title success, 12 months on from doing likewise with former club Leicester City.
Kante starred once again for the champions in their 2-1 win over Leicester on his return to the King Power Stadium at the weekend, even bagging himself a rare goal to manager Conte's delight.
"N'Golo is very important for us – a top player," he told reporters. "It was an amazing performance. He played a really fantastic game. He scored but, overall, he made a lot of good runs. He is always improving. I think now he is very good with the ball.
"Before, a lot of people told me, 'Yes, without the ball, he has good stamina and is a good worker', but now with the ball he has improved a lot.
"I am happy for this because we are working a lot with him. To be the best player in the Premier League last season is a great thing. This season he is confirming it. You must have the will to work and improve. Until the end of your career you can always improve."
Chelsea, who have now won three in a row to climb up to third in the Premier League, return to action in midweek when taking on Qarabag in the Champions League.