Kante who was a key member of the Leicester City side that won the Premier League title last season is now a driving force at Chelsea - who lead at the top of the table with 10 points, following their 3-1 win over Swansea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
Makelele, now assistant coach of Swansea City, saw up close the quality Kante possesses when the Swans visited the west London club over the weekend, and the 44-year-old reckons the France international needs more authority in the team.
While speaking in an interview with William Gallas for SFR Sport, Makelele said: "What I like about him is that he's very generous. He plays with a smile on his face, and that's an exceptional quality.
"I really hope he has a better career than mine, but he still needs that leadership.
"That doesn't mean be a captain, but to have an aura within the team that when they look at him, they think 'We're going to win' or when he speaks to them, they go 'You're right.'
"When he has that aura, he'll be an exceptional player. That's when he'll become a regular for France."