LONDON: Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante completed a prestigious awards double on Monday when he was named footballer of the year by Britain’s Football Writers’ Association (FWA).
The France international, 26, won the Premier League title with Leicester City last season and is closing in on a second successive triumph with Chelsea.
He beat team-mate Eden Hazard to the award, voted on by the FWA’s 340 members, having last month been voted Players’ Player of the Year by the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA).
“It is a fantastic honour to win this award,” Kante said in a press release.
“With so many great players in this Chelsea squad and in the Premier League, for the Football Writers’ Association of this country to name me as their footballer of the year is a very proud moment in my career.”
Kante joined Chelsea from Leicester in a £32 million (US$41.5 million) move last year and has become an instrumental figure for Antonio Conte’s league leaders.
Chelsea require two victories from their last four games to take the title.
Hazard, who won the FWA/PFA awards double in 2015, came second in the voting, with Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Dele Alli third.
Kante and Hazard amassed more than 65% of the journalists’ votes, which were spread across 17 different players.
Kante will receive his award at a gala dinner in London on May 18.
“N’Golo Kante could not be a more deserving winner of English football’s most prestigious individual award,” said FWA chairman Paddy Barclay.
“Considering the competition of Eden Hazard and others from Chelsea in particular, this is a great achievement.”