Wenger on twice trying to sign Chelsea lynchpin Kante

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Arsene Wenger believes N’golo Kante’s presence in the centre of Chelsea’s midfield has been a defining factor in the Blues title charge this season.

The boss also confirmed that he has twice tried to sign the France international for the Gunners, first while the midfielder was at Ligue 1 side Caen and last summer, prior to his move to Stamford Bridge.

Speaking to the press ahead of tomorrow’s match with Antonio Conte’s league leaders, the boss also admitted he was surprised that Chelsea engineered a 13-game winning streak after their poor start to the season.

“When we beat them 3-0 I did not expect them to go 13-games unbeaten. I feel they found a better balance defensively. They are very good in transition. I watched their game against Liverpool and I believe N’Golo Kante had a huge impact in their team.

“Basically it’s not coincidence that they [Chelsea] are in the position they are and that Leicester were where they were last year. Also Hazard and Costa have come back to very strong form compared to last season so they are very efficient when they go forward.

He added: “Yes [we tried to sign him]. When he was in France, when he was at Leicester.

“We cannot explain absolutely everything [about why we failed to sign him], but it’s obvious when you look at where he has gone.

“I do not want to talk more about that. Transfer are transfers, you cannot explain absolutely everything.”

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