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Kante 96 FIFA Mobile player review: The new king of your midfield

The boosts (and price) leave some to be desired, but he’s still a beast.

Chelsea v Sunderland - Premier League Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

N’Golo Kante’s class on the pitch in real life is undisputed. Anyone who watched the Premier League each of the past two seasons (this past FA Cup aside) understands why Kante’s reigned supreme as football’s most influential talisman.

Console FIFA players too know the magic of Player of the Season (and now TOTS) Kante. The former SBC and then packable purple then blue respective cards are one of, if not the, most dominant in this year’s FIFA 17. But what about his Team of the Season on FIFA Mobile?

Look, we all know the pain points of this years’ Mobile TOTS. TOTS tokens are nearly unobtainable. The packs are somewhat expensive for what they are and the coin packs don’t help you complete the plans you want. There’s still time for EA to sort these things out, but we’re not here to re-litigate frustrations already wide and known.

Whether you’ve been saving up for a monster midfielder, or you’re that one guy in your league everyone hates who’s miraculously packed two TOTS tokens from the Live Event and got another from buying a bundle, here’s what the upgraded 96 Team of the Season N’Golo Kante will bring to your VsA squad:

Futhead

Pace: 10/10

My only knock after building the ‘World Qualifiers - Round 2’ Kante was that his pace, while peppy, didn’t feel up to snuff with some of the other elite midfielders in the game. The upgraded Team of the Season version of course corrects that.

Whether on the attack in a 4-3-3 or holding up the rear in a 4-5-1, 96 Kante will feel better preparing to strike, or in support, than just about any 96 OVR or higher CM in the game.

Shooting: 8.5/10

The only sticking point in using this monster of a card was a propensity for him to be a little less accurate finishing than I’m accustomed to. The metrics aren’t all that bad — 82 shooting (an upgrade over both his WCQ and 94 TOTS cards) and 82 finishing (also up from the aforementioned). But especially early in my testing the card, he never quite felt able to put the ball on target the way I’d hoped.

Trying him in some other formations like 4-3-3 and 4-3-2-1 yielded better offensive results. He was way more involved on scoring chances in the former, and perhaps by repetition — or maybe even sheer need — he was better in terms of his scoring prowess than my initial reservations seemed destined to prove.

Passing: 10/10

The ratings are elite — 93 passing -- but somehow he managed to feel even better in game. In fact, I’m certain I haven’t used a better passing-CM in all of FIFA Mobile.

Particularly playing in a 4-5-1, Kante was often in service of other attackers. His completion rate was roughly 100% in the two dozen-or-so VS Attack and League Vs League matches I tested him in.

I’m honestly hard pressed to remember a passer at any position in FM as light on the touch as Kante felt to me.

If we gave ratings higher than 10/10, I would here.

Dribbling: 9/10

Not gonna lie; I kind of expected a hair more with a 94 dribbling rating, but he still managed to feel sound on the ball.

Admittedly, Kante didn’t have a ton of situations where he was possessing the ball for long stretches; but he certainly never dribbled any plays into being prematurely over when he did.

Beyond the intangibles though, he’s awfully hard to criticize with so many of his touches advancing the ball the way they intended.

Defending: Incomplete

Not manually influencing defense makes this a tough category to evaluate. I probably could’ve (and should’ve) evaluated game logs afterwards to try and see how often his name arose. CMs aren’t exactly a staple of defenses in non-set-piece scenarios anyways in FM, adding to the challenge of trying to figure out a category like this.

The one thing I’ll say is with a 93 defending rating, he should be as sound as just about any other CM in FIFA Mobile. Whether or not he’s actually leading to fewer goals against you in VS Attack remains to be seen.

Physical: 9.5/10

Opposing defenders didn’t quite bounce off Kanté the way they do Golden Egg Jordan Morris, but his strength was noticeable, even during an evaluation sample.

When you dig down and realize he’s got a 99 rating for physical and 95 for strength, it makes all the more sense.

Since he isn’t a CAM, you probably won’t need that in outright attacks outside of a couple specific formations, but having a player built to last over the frantic 2 minutes of a VsA match certainly doesn’t hurt.


Overall: 8.5/10

Let me start by saying TOTS Kante is one of if not the very best center midfielders I’ve used in FIFA Mobile. If you have a PL Squad, he’s worth the coins, whatever you have to do to buy him on the transfer market or build him with TOTS Tokens.

The hard part to justify is both the boosts (which at this first upgrade tier are league only) and the price to get him.

The cheapest Kante I saw (he was mostly extinct all weekend on my market) was around 3,800,000 coins. With TOTY Iniesta and Modric extinct, that might honestly be worth it, but it’s a relatively steep/inaccessible price for your ordinary F2P players. Because of the necessary three upgrade tokens to build him, he’s probably unrealistic for most non-bundle openers.

If you have 3 TOTS upgrade tokens or around four million coins and/or want to gamble that he’s going to get an upgrade and potentially give you the chance to get him up to 99 overall, my recommendation is get him. Otherwise, there are probably better more cost efficient options out there.