Chelsea target Declan Rice has admitted studying N’Golo Kante to help hone his own game.
The West Ham and England international midfielder has been on Frank Lampard’s radar for some time, and the Blues could make a move as soon as the January transfer window.
But it is one of the Blues’ current crop of midfielders to whom Rice looks up to, and there would be few surprises who he would most closely watch in training should they be paired together at Stamford Bridge.
“The main one I’ve always watched is Kanté in my position,” he told The Times.
“The way he protects the back four, the way he intercepts, always in position.
“I think I’m fairly good at that, but there are still things I can do that can take me to the next level.”
Rice, 21, admires the French international’s experience and maturity and would like to transfer some of his guile and nous to complement his own youthful energy.
“Sometimes in games I get sucked out of position a little bit, attracted to the ball,” he added.
“I’m so enthusiastic to get the ball back for the team, I’m probably just better off saving my legs sometimes. I do more running than I should, put it that way.
“I’m so enthusiastic just to go and win the ball back where pretty much everything would come through me anyway if I stood right in the middle. That’s what [Sergio] Busquets and Kanté do.”