Antonio Conte has named N’Golo Kante as his favourite Chelsea player ahead of Eden Hazard.
The Italian, who was announced as Inter’s new manager on Friday, spent two seasons at Stamford Bridge before he was sacked last summer.
Conte won the Premier League title in his debut season at Chelsea and ended his time at the club with a victory over Manchester United in the FA Cup final. Kante joined Chelsea in Conte’s first summer at Stamford Bridge and played a key role at the heart of the Italian’s midfield.
And when asked to name his best player during his time Chelsea, Conte told the BBC World Service: ‘There are many good players, for sure, but if I have to mention one player I would like to mention Kante.
Asked why he felt Kante was so special for him, Conte replied: ‘We are talking about a special player. Because he always has a smile on his face. He’s a reliable player, a fantastic player. I wish the best for him, always.’
Asked if he looks back at Chelsea with fondness or frustration, Conte replied: ‘I must be delighted with my time at Chelsea. Remember when I arrived at Chelsea they were out of the Europa League and Champions League, they had finished 10th in the table.
‘I opened a new chapter for Chelsea with many young players, at the same time I won the Premier League, reached the final of the FA Cup in the first season, and then won the FA Cup in the second season.
‘I think to win in England now is very difficult, but I won, and this is the most important thing.’ He added.