Gary Lineker: Leicester City will not win title after N'Golo Kante exit

Jamie Vardy (left), Riyad Mahrez (centre) and N'Golo Kante (right)
Jamie Vardy (left), Riyad Mahrez (centre) and N'Golo Kante were the key players in Leicester's title win last season

The loss of midfielder N'Golo Kante to Chelsea means Leicester will not repeat their shock title win of last season, says former Foxes striker Gary Lineker.

Led by manager Claudio Ranieri, the East Midlands side claimed their maiden Premier League triumph having started the campaign as 5,000-1 outsiders.

France international Kante joined Antonio Conte's team for a fee of around £30m this summer.

"Kante allowed Ranieri to play the system he did," Lineker told BBC Sport.

"He can't do that anymore. Kante was the most unsung of the big three players, but he was probably the most important."

Read more
It's back! What you need to know about the new Premier League season
Who will be Premier League champions?
Premier League predictor

Leicester's stunning season saw them win the title by 10 points from Arsenal, losing only three league games all season.

Algerian midfielder Riyad Mahrez won the PFA Player of the Year award after contributing 17 goals and 11 assists, while England striker Jamie Vardy scored 24 goals.

But defensive midfielder Kante made the most tackles (175) and most interceptions (157) of any player in the top five European leagues.

This season, Leicester are seventh favourites to top the table at 33-1, while none of 33 BBC pundits polled have predicted them to repeat their feat from the 2015-16 season.

Match of the Day presenter Lineker added: "It was a one off.

"I never thought I would see something like that in my lifetime, Leicester winning under those circumstances - or any other club of that stature in this modern age.

"I am sure the league will be a little anti-climactic because they won't do that again but there is the Champions League to look forward to. That will be a wonderful experience for the supporters."

Top Stories