N'Golo Kante isn't 'an exceptional player' yet - Claude Makelele
N'Golo Kante needs to develop his leadership qualities if he wants to be considered an "exceptional player" and establish himself as a regular with France, according to former Chelsea midfielder Claude Makelele.
Makelele returned to Stamford Bridge as assistant manager of Swansea City on Saturday but could not prevent Chelsea securing a 3-1 victory thanks to goals from Cesc Fabregas, Pedro and Diego Costa, while Kante produced an outstanding performance in midfield.
Kante, who ranks third in the Premier League for average number of successful tackle-per-game, with 3.6, has played a key role in Chelsea's surge to the top of the table -- but Makelele said his countryman needs to become more assertive if he wants to take his game to the next level.
"What I like about him is that he's very generous," Makelele said in an interview with William Gallas for SFR Sport. "He plays with a smile on his face, and that's an exceptional quality. I really hope he has a better career than mine, but he still needs that leadership.
"That doesn't mean be a captain, but to have an aura within the team that when they look at him, they think 'We're going to win' or when he speaks to them, they go 'You're right.' When he has that aura, he'll be an exceptional player. That's when he'll become a regular for France."
Since arriving from Leicester City for £30 million in July, Kante has started all but one of Chelsea's 26 Premier League matches this season, scoring one goal. He is bidding to become the first player since Eric Cantona to win consecutive English top-flight league titles with different clubs.
Liam is ESPN FC's Chelsea correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Liam_Twomey.