N’Golo Kante has officially departed Chelsea to join Saudi Arabian side Al-Ittihad. The France international leaves the Premier League club after seven seasons in west London. Kante collected nearly every significant silverware possible during his time with the club. This includes triumphs in the Champions League, Premier League, Europa League, and FA Cup.
“I’m just grateful for my journey,” proclaimed Kante during his farewell statement to Chelsea fans. “I think of all the people I’ve met on the way, people who shared the same dream as me to make it as a professional footballer, to make it to the top.”
“As I said earlier, my dream was to become a footballer and to try and win trophies. Joining Chelsea was the perfect arrangement for me to achieve those dreams. The first day I joined Chelsea, I was told very early on that the objective here is always to win trophies. Always.”
The club and Kante completed that objective with the 2021 UEFA Champions League. Kante put in a Man-of-the-Match performance against Manchester City.
N’Golo Kante reunited with former teammate at Al-Ittihad
Kante now joins Al-Ittihad on a free transfer. His contract with Chelsea expired earlier in the month. Nevertheless, the 32-year-old midfielder is about to receive a massive pay raise to play in the Middle East. Kante will reportedly rake in over $25 million per season on a four-year deal with the club.
Al-Ittihad previously made headlines when they signed former Real Madrid legend Karim Benzema. The striker was Kante’s international teammate for six years before announcing his retirement from the French national team. Signing the duo is a massive statement for the growing Saudi Pro League.
More Chelsea players linked with Saudi move
Benzema, however, won’t be the only former teammate of Kante’s to make the switch to Saudi Arabia. Kalidou Koulibaly, Hakim Ziyech, and Edouard Mendy are all close to joining different clubs in the league. Callum Hudson-Odoi has been linked with the Saudi league as well. The quartet all previously played alongside Kante at Chelsea.
PHOTO: IMAGO & Pro Sports Images
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