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Ilkay Gundogan Exclusive: N'Golo Kante Is The Toughest Midfielder I've Played Against

Ilkay Gundogan Exclusive: N'Golo Kante Is The Toughest Midfielder I've Played Against

Some of the best midfielders in the world showcase their skills in the Premier League - Paul Pogba, Christian Eriksen, Fabinho - but none of them are tougher to play against than one pint-sized spoiler in royal blue, says Manchester City's Ilkay Gundogan.

When asked who is the most difficult midfielder to play against the German international considered his answer for a second, before replying.

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Ilkay Gundogan admits that N'Golo Kante has given him nightmares in midfield
Ilkay Gundogan admits that N'Golo Kante has given him nightmares in midfield

"N'Golo Kante is someone who's really annoying for a midfielder," he told SPORTbible at the launch of the new adidas Predator 20 Mutator. "For a midfielder like me who's into passing and controlling the game, it's not easy to play against someone like him.

"You feel like you're past him and then he just appears again. The Premier League has the best players in the world so every single game is tough and that's why I'm here - I want to challenge myself and compete with the best and Kante is one of the best midfielders in the world."

The modest Gundogan forgot to mention his goal during City's 6-0 demolition of Chelsea last season, when he curled a fine finish into the bottom right-hand corner of the net from the edge of the box, as Kante looked on helplessly.

Ilkay Gundogan says there's no tougher opponent than N'Golo Kante
Ilkay Gundogan says there's no tougher opponent than N'Golo Kante
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Since joining City in June 2016, Gundogan has faced off against the French World Cup winner six times in domestic competition, playing his part in four victories. Maybe it's the German who has been giving Kante the run around with this intelligent positioning and incisive passing.

Predator 20 Mutator with DEMONSKIN will be available to buy instore and online at adidas.com, and select retailers, starting 28th January 2020. Explore the new Predator 20 now at adidas.co.uk/football-shoes or follow @adidasfootball on Instagram or Twitter.

Topics: Manchester City, Chelsea, Ilkay Gundogan, Premier League, N'Golo Kante

Ben Welch

Ben is the senior brand marketing manager for SPORTbible. In a former life he was a journalist, writing for the likes of FourFourTwo, Men's Health, The Daily Mirror, Eurosport, Sky Sports, Eurosport and World Soccer. He once played in a pre-season friendly for League Two Swindon Town, having previously played at Sunday League level. It didn't go well.

 

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