N’Golo Kante has been voted Footballer of the Year by the Football Writers’ Association, edging out Chelsea teammate Eden Hazard.
The Chelsea midfielder polled most votes among the 340-strong membership, beating team-mate Eden Hazard and third-placed Dele Alli to the award.
It follows Kante, 26, being voted the Professional Footballers’ Association Player of the Yearfor 2016-17.
The France international helped Leicester City win the Premier League title last season and is close to doing the same with Chelsea.
Kante is the fifth player in six seasons to complete the awards double having last month been named Player of the Year by the Professional Footballers’ Association.
More than 65 per cent of the votes went to either Kante or Hazard, while a record number of players polled at least one vote – among them West Brom goalkeeper Ben Foster and Brighton winger Anthony Knockaert.
Kante, a summer signing from champions Leicester, will become the first outfield player to win back-to-back Premier League titles with different clubs if Chelsea win two of their remaining four games, starting with the Monday Night Football clash at home to Middlesbrough.
He 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 of this country to name me as their Footballer of the Year is a very proud moment in my career.”
FWA chairman Paddy Barclay said: “N’Golo Kante could not be a more deserving winner of English football’s most prestigious individual award.”
“In the view of some FWA members, he would have been a worthy recipient last season for his contribution to Leicester’s title success, but the almost unbroken excellent form of Chelsea since he changed clubs has left little room for further debate.
“Considering the competition of Eden Hazard and others from Chelsea in particular, this is a great achievement.”
Full list of Footballer of the Year nominees:
Sergio Aguero (Man City), Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham), Dele Alli (Tottenham), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Diego Costa (Chelsea), Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool), Jermain Defoe (Sunderland), Ben Foster (West Brom), Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Manchester United), Harry Kane (Tottenham), N’Golo Kante (Chelsea), Anthony Knockaert (Brighton), David Luiz (Chelsea), Romelu Lukaku (Everton), Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal), Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea).