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There are few distrusts as to who has been the top Premier League midfielder in the past 2 years. N’Golo Kante after joining at Leicester City from Ligue one side SM Caen, become a quick hit in Great Britain and played a big job in the Foxes league triumph last season.
It was not a shock to view the top of the clubs listings for a move for the Frenchman and he finally ended teaming up with Chelsea, who had finished in the tenth place previous season, in the summer of 2016. The shift was condemned in some loops, considering that the Blues were not playing in West countries, but having made the switch, Kante has moved heads once again with his remarkable looks and performance all set for his 2nd Premier League winners medal in his 2nd season in England.
But another midfielder who has been doing the right same things as Kante, but has not been in the limelight is Ander Herrera from Manchester United. After 2 years of playing a bit-part role at the Old Trafford, since joining the Red Devils in the hot months of 2014 from Athletic Bilbao, the Spaniard has truly thrived current season under Jose Mourinho and has become the beating heart of the Red Devils midfield.
Both Herrera and Kante have become the backbone for their respective clubs and have been definitely remarkable in the midfield. Performing their defensive work with best diligence, the duo have even contributed hugely going forward and as a result, it would not be bad to say that these 2 have been the top midfielders in the league this term. Who comes out on top and how do they stand against each other? Here is a look:
Looking at the stunning aspect of their game, Herrera has the upper hand, have created more clear-out chances for his team (24) than the Frenchman (16) for Chelsea. Coming to their distribution, it is clear from the numbers that both have been equally best in their passing, having the same perfectness of passes (18%), but it must be well-known that Herrera has tried more pass (1603) than Kante (1459), despite characterizing for lesser minutes. Both Herrera and Kante are very relaxed and very positive with the ball at their feet and are inseparable when it comes to their take-on success rate (Both 77%).
While they are not in the team for their attacking prowess, it is clear that both have influenced their teams going forward, but it is Herrera who just slightly edges Kante in terms of the effectiveness in the attacking half of the pitch.
Now, looking at their defensive figures, Herrera, despite characteristic lower than Kante has tried more tackles than him, but the Frenchman has enjoyed a perfect victory rate (43%) matched to the Spanish international (38%). Herrera has averaged six defensive actions per ninety minutes this term, matched to Kante four and both made a one defensive error that has lead to an attempt on goal from their rival.
Herrera has committed a little more fouls (37) than Kante (35), but also has been on the getting end more times (34) in comparison with the Frenchman (11). Another remarkable stat per Squawka that provides an insight into Herrera best form is that the 27-year-old has won the most figures of tackles and interceptions in the rival half than any other performer in the league.
Most Premier League interceptions & tackles won in the opposition's half this season:
Ander Herrera (30)
Harry Arter (28)
N'Golo Kante (26) pic.twitter.com/f7NxqmADIz
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) February 6, 2017
Despite all the fanfare and the honor surrounding Kante and his performances, Herrera has perfectly outdone the Chelsea midfielder when you match their defensive status. The Spaniard has been more game-alert, he won control on more occasions and despite his small physique he won more headers and made more interceptions and tackles.
The former Athletic Bilbao midfielder has been a big part of the United’s defensive power this season which sees them being the 3rd top team defensively in the league, having conceded just 3 more goals than 18 Chelsea’s.
It is clear from the figure that, Herrera has outdone Kante on both corners of the pitch, be it in defence or attack and has been the improve midfielder. But, the truth that Chelsea sits at the peak of the table and the force that Kante has had on the team, coming in the hot month’s window, has been the reason behind him arresting all the limelight.