Chelsea legend Didier Drogba claims to have played an important role in the club’s capture of N’Golo Kante.
Back in the summer of 2016, the Blues agreed to part with £32 million ($41m) in order to lure a highly-rated midfielder away from Leicester.
Kante moved to Stamford Bridge as a Premier League title winner and would repeat that feat during his debut campaign in west London.
The 27-year-old has established himself as a key performer for the Blues, even after being asked to tweak his position slightly under Maurizio Sarri, and has tasted World Cup glory with France.
Fresh terms have been agreed with Chelsea this season, taking him through to 2023, and Drogba says he helped to make all of this possible when offering transfer advice.
The Ivorian striker, who has recently announced his retirement, told Sport24 of Kante: “I’m very proud of him.
“I’m glad he chose Chelsea and the club listened to my advice, that they chose him.
“I’m glad I did not make a mistake.”
Quizzed on when he had nudged Chelsea towards Kante, Drogba added: “I told them that we should not miss him. When? I told them when he started at Leicester.”
It is clear that Drogba has played an important role in the career of a man who has enjoyed a meteoric rise to prominence.
Kante, who was turning out in the French second tier with Caen as recently as 2014, has previously stated his admiration for a man he always hoped to follow in the
He told SFR in February 2017: “The professional world makes a lot of young amateurs dream, and to go from one to the other can inspire others, like me, when I heard stories of Didier Drogba and [France defender] Adil Rami, who went from being amateurs to becoming pros.
“It was a source of strength, and told me that it was possible, even if you start from a long way off.”
Kante is now living that dream, with Drogba having helped him along the way.