N’Golo Kanté’s move to Al Ittihad was made officially official earlier this week, and while that did not come as a surprise, the announcement did make the fact that he’s leaving truly hit home.
We’re never going to see another player like Kanté at Chelsea. That’s true of all of our Legends of course, but in many ways NG felt more unique, more special than most other football stars, big or small — this most competitive and spectacular athlete with a singular focus on achievement and winning, but somehow wrapped in a tiny, adorable, unassuming, humble, quiet, and outwardly shy human being.
And that smile. Oh that smile!
We knew we had to protect him at all cost; and I suppose we tried our best. It’s what you do with family.
“The time for me has come to open a new chapter in my career.
“But before that, it is so important for me to say thank you to the great and beautiful family of Chelsea.
“Fans, players, managers, medical staff, board members, all those who have been with me during these last seven seasons in this legendary club.
“Only good memories, great victories and memorable titles won by your side.
“From the bottom of my heart, thank you very much, I will never forget you.
“And of course last but not least, I thank my family, my friends, who have always been on my side in good and bad times.
“Without forgetting my agent, Karim as well as my advisers Rachid and Driss who have given me such a precious support since my beginnings and have been a major part in my success.
“These past times have not been easy for us and our family, but we were able to stay united to face rumours and lies.
“See you soon for new adventures on the pitch with Al Ittihad and the French National Team.
-N’Golo Kanté; source: Instagram
You certainly helped keep Chelsea legendary over those seven seasons!
Come back and see us sometime.
P.S.: The line about “rumours and lies” probably has more to do with the various media stories about him and his agents over the years, than anything Chelsea-specific.