Arsene Wenger has revealed he was aware of the skill and existence of Kante years ago.
Kante, 24, joined Leicester in August from Caen for £5.6 million and has been a revelation for the foxes.
And with Leicester playing Arsenal today, they can see their dream of lifting the EPL again fade away.
Ahead of the encounter, Wenger has revealed he turned down signing Kante as a youngster, despite receiving a recommendation for his signature.
“Kante is a huge force in their team,” the French boss said.
“Of course I know him. You look at his career and you will be amazed. Because he played in Suresnes in Paris at the age of nine, 10 years old. After that he went to Boulogne as an amateur. They didn’t want to sign him pro.
“After, he went to Caen, and then he came finally to England. But everywhere he has been, he has always adapted to the level where he was.
“One of my best friends in life has known him since he was 10 years old, and he spoke to me about him. We went to watch him and we saw he had quality. But I didn’t know he would come so quickly to England.”