The first of the midfield roles to be explored in The Boot Room’s Top 5 series for the 2015/16 Premier League season is the holding midfielder. Charged with shielding the back-line of his side, these players can often be the unsung heroes of their respective teams, so make sure that your favourite does not miss out on recognition by voting for them in the poll at the end of the article.
Leicester City did not have a vast number of additions made to their squad over the summer, but arguably the one that has had the greatest impact on the Foxes’ concerted tilt at the Premier League title has been N’Golo Kanté. His influence on Leicester’s successful results early in the campaign often went under the radar; much like the club themselves, but began to earn well-deserved plaudits after the early weeks progressed closer to the winter months. The French midfielder is an expert at ratting around the opposition, making the crucial challenges and interceptions that have prevented promising attacks from developing into anything more substantial. He leads the pack in these destructive aspects, excelling at breaking up the play before passing it on to Danny Drinkwater who has so often sprung a lightning-fast counter-attack.
Arriving from Caen during the off-season for the relatively small figure of £5.6 million, N’Golo Kanté boasts outstanding stamina that has allowed him to influence games from beginning to end, all over the pitch. When the opportunity has presented itself, the Frenchman is well capable of carrying the ball over large distances, promoting a rapid transition from defence to attack. Riyad Mahrez’s goal; Leicester City’s third, came about as a result of Kanté’s forward sprint, and this was hardly an isolated incident. If the Foxes do indeed go on to hold the Premier League trophy aloft at the end of May, there will be no doubts about Kanté’s impact on the club’s success.