- Associated Press - Monday, May 8, 2017

LONDON (AP) - N’Golo Kante’s impact in guiding Chelsea to the brink of the Premier League title was rewarded on Monday when he was voted the 2017 Footballer of the Year by soccer writers.

The France international topped the poll of journalists just weeks after being voted Player of the Year by his fellow professionals.

A strong defensive shield and driving force in midfield since his arrival from 2016 champion Leicester, Kante has been a standout performer for a Chelsea team that is two wins from winning the league title and has also reached the FA Cup final.

Chelsea winger Eden Hazard was second in the voting, with Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli in third. Kante and Hazard received more than 65 percent of the vote.

“In the view of some FWA members, he would have been a worthy recipient last season for his contribution to Leicester’s title success,” Patrick Barclay, chairman of the Football Writers’ Association, said of Kante, “but the almost unbroken excellent form of Chelsea since he changed clubs has left little room for further debate.”

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