Former Chelsea star, Joe Cole, has insisted that the club’s midfielder, N’Golo Kante, looks 5years younger after his man of the match performance against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League round of 16 second-leg tie on Wednesday night.

Kante was naturally influential at the base of Chelsea’s midfield, snuffing out attacks and making 13 ball recoveries overall against Atletico Madrid.

The 29-year-old also made a significant contribution to the attacking side of the game and drew admiration from his manager, Thomas Tuchel, following a lung-busting run which helped create space for Palmieri’s goal deep in injury time.

Chelsea defeated Diego Simeone’s side 2-0 at Stamford Bridge, thanks to two goals from Hakim Ziyech and Emerson Palmieri to qualify for the quarter-final on a 3-0 aggregate, having won 1-0 in the first leg.

Reacting to Kante’s display against Atletico Madrid, Cole told BT Sport: “You have got the legs in midfield now. You have got Kovacic and Kante back, and Kante looks about five years younger again.

“He has missed a lot of football, but he has had a good run at it now, and he has built his fitness and match stamina up that you need.

“He just looks so comfortable. I think he likes having Kovacic in there as well because I think it takes the burden off him and they both get about the pitch.

“He was sensational. Not only does he have the physical capabilities, but he has that canny ability to be in the right place at the right time, and players don’t get around him. He is like having two men in one.

“He decides when he takes it, he blocks lines and then still has the energy to keep starting attacks and break forward in the 90th minute as well, he was fantastic, and he’s back to his best. He is underestimated for his technical ability, he dribbles, and he can pass, he’s fantastic.”