Makelele: Kante not yet an “exceptional player”

Former Chelsea midfielder Claude Makelele feels N'Golo Kante needs to develop his leadership qualities on the pitch if he is to become exceptional player in world football.

Kante has been a driving force in the Blues' midfield this season as the London club march towards the Premier League title, holding a 10 point advantage at the top of the table with 12 games remaining.

Makelele was arguably the best player in his position and defined the role of a holding midfielder in his playing days at Real Madrid and at Stamford Bridge.

The former France international returned to London on Saturday as an assistant coach of Swansea City and saw up close what Kante is all about as Chelsea ran out 3-1 winners.

Makelele says his compatriot needs to take more authority in the team if he wants to take his game to the next level.

Speaking in an interview with William Gallas for SFR Sport, Makelele said: "What I like about him is that he's very generous. 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."