N’Golo Kante has beaten Chelsea team-mate Eden Hazard to win the 2017 Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year award.
The Frenchman beat the Belgian to the prestigious gong after also being voted the PFA Player of the Year.
Hazard finished second to Kante, with the pair pulling in over 65 per cent of the votes. Dele Alli of Tottenham Hotspur rounded out the top three.
The midfielder said: “It is a fantastic honour to win this award. With so many great players in this Chelsea squad and in the Premier League, for the Football Writers’ Association to name me their Footballer of the Year is a very proud moment in my career.”
His truly phenomenal work rate and virtually unrivalled ability to regain possession for his side has played an enormous role in Chelsea’s Premier League title challenge this year, just as it did with Leicester City’s triumph last season.
Kante is the 18th player to be voted as the player of the year by both his peers and the Football Writers’ Association.
Hazard was the last player to do so, in 2015, with Leicester duo Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy splitting the awards last season.
Chelsea’s Diego Costa, Cesar Azpilicueta and David Luiz were also among the 17 players to receive votes, while Anthony Knockaert of Brighton & Hove Albion was the Championship’s only representative in an otherwise all-Premier League lineup.