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Ex-Chelsea star Makalele passes mantle: 'It's called the Kante position now'

Former Chelsea and Real Madrid midfielder Claude Makelele believes the role he helped popularise should be named after Blues midfielder N'Golo Kante.

The 44-year old excelled in the defensive midfield role throughout his career, with pundits and fans alike labelling the position the 'Makelele Role'.

Kante, who moved to Chelsea from champions Leicester in the summer, picked up the Premier League Player of the Year Award, PFA and Football Writers' Association Player of the Year award after helping marshall the Blues midfield to the Premier League title this season.

And now, 'Maka' believes his countrymen has earned the right for the position to be named after him.

At the Football Writer's Association ceremony, included in the brochure was a column written by Makelele detailing his thoughts on the 26-year old.

"Every time I watch N'Golo Kante, I see so much desire in him, so much focus and so much dtermination to make himself a better player with every game,' he wrote.

"He was the heartbeat of the Leicester team, but it was also like taking a bulldog for a walk – you had to keep pulling him back because he had so much energy.

"Now N'Golo has added intellingence. He appreciates the position of his team-mates more and how to play in a more sophisticated system where it's not all about running and tackling, but the decisions he makes.

"Some players are meant to be superstars, but some – like N'Golo and myself – must be happy making other people look good.

"Next season we will see him become even better because he will have the challenge of the Champions League. He is also part of a fantastic generation of young players coming through for France, which will also see him develop.

"And I am glad. People talk about the Makelele position, but I am old and it's time everybody called it the Kante position. N'Golo deserves that."

Andrew Maclean
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Andrew Maclean

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