Matic has started every Premier League game this season under Antonio Conte.
Matic says Kante is important for Chelsea.
Kante has more quality than Makalele.
Nemanja Matic believes new Chelsea's summer signing N'Golo Kante is better than club legend Claude Makelele.
The France international Kante sealed a move from Premier League champions Leicester City to Chelsea for £32m and has been impressive since his move to west London club.
However, Matic is convinced the arrival of Kante will be key in Chelsea's title quest as he reckons his new team-mate is better than Makalele, who made over 200 appearances for the Blues between 2003 and 2008.
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"He is very important for us, especially in that position," Matic, who made his return to Stamford Bridge in 2014, told Sky Sports.
"You have to give balance to the team and he knows how he needs to do that job. He is very important for us.
"I know how difficult it is to play that position and I'm very happy because N'Golo is doing very well and is going to be a very important player for us, maybe one of the most important players in this season.
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"It is very hard for him and it's going to be hard, but I'm sure that he is ready.
"Many people say that he is the new Makelele, but I don't think so. Makelele was a great player and we all respect him, me especially because I know that position and how it is difficult to play.
"But I think that N'Golo is better than him. He is doing his defensive job very well and with the ball he has some extra quality."
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