Cape Town - Burnley
midfielder Joey Barton has questioned the praise heaped on Chelsea's
N'golo Kante, saying that the player is merely 'fashionable'.
Barton, who featured in his club's 1- draw with the likely Premier
League champions in February, has criticised the English media for
creating the perception that Kante is one of the finest players in the
“In England, there are boxes and it is impossible to get out of them,” he told Le Journal du Dimanche. “At the moment, for example, everyone swears by N’Golo Kante. It’s fashionable."
“For pundits, he’s the best midfielder in the world," the 34-year old
continued. "That’s not the case – he’s very good, but I played against
him three weeks ago.
“He’s a phenomenal destroyer who played in a phenomenal team, but
he’s not a creator. And it’s impossible to be so definitive with a
player who has not played in the Champions League," he added.
Barton went on to compare the hype around Kante to that of
experienced by Dimitri Payet last season. The French midfielder was one
of the Premier League's top players in 2015/16 but has struggled to make
an impact this season.
“He was incredible last season with West Ham, which surprised
everyone, including me. When I was with Marseille and he played with
Lille, he was only seen against Sochaux and Brest – never in the big
games. It was the same with OM afterwards.
“But in England, it was different after his first game. Except, no big club made a move for him: it was China or Marseille? Why?
“We focus too much on a player when he works well, we don’t focus on
how he behaves in difficulty. If you look at Zlatan Ibrahimovic at PSG,
he was very consistent – that’s the mark of a great.”