Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri is urging fans to give N’Golo Kante a warm welcome on Tuesday in the EFL Cup third-round tie against Chelsea.
Kante, 25, was the lone core member of the Foxes that left the club after the Premier League title last season, joining Chelsea for £32 million. It will be Kante’s first meeting against his old side if he plays on Tuesday. Ranieri said ahead of the game that the Frenchman deserves the fans’ appreciation.
“I will give to him a very warm welcome back and I am sure also our fans they must appreciate what he did last season and give him a warm welcome,” Ranieri said.
“I will be very happy if our fans clap him at the beginning and afterwards he is an enemy.
“They must understand that when a big team arrives, it is difficult to say no. For this reason, I say thank you to Jamie Vardy and his family, and to Riyad when they decided to stay here. For us, it was important to maintain everybody.
“He was very important for us and I think he was even more important for us than at Chelsea because Chelsea have so many big players.”
Ranieri also said that he believes new Chelsea manager Antonio Conte will have success with the Blues.
“He is a winner, but of course he needs time,” Ranieri said.
“The reality here is different than in Italy and his job is bigger now, but I think he can lift some trophies.
“You need to understand the league and your players. The players must understand him and how he manages and how he changes, what he wants. I watch a good Chelsea so far.”