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Why Kante I be as good as Chelsea ace? SCOTLAND LATEST U-21 star Allan setting his sights high.

Byline: Scott McDermott EXCLUSIVE

He's being hailed as Lanarkshire's very own N'Golo Kante.

And if Motherwell kid Allan Campbell attacks his career with the same tenacity as he flies into tackles, who's to say he can't emulate the Chelsea superstar? The 19-year-old midfielder is now a regular in the Fir Park side and establishing himself as a first pick for Scotland's Under-21s.

But Campbell isn't like most of the emerging young players in the country.

Sure, he can play a bit. But the little Glaswegian gets the same thrill out of winning a 50/50 challenge in the middle of the park as he would producing a slide-rule killer pass.

He might be a million miles off the level of French anchor man Kante at the moment.

But Campbell admits he's constantly watching players of his ilk to see where he can improve.

And he won't change the style of play he's had since first joining Well's academy at the age of nine.

He told MailSport: "My game has always been about tackling. I like to get in about people. I enjoy the physical side of the game.

"In every game I feel totally committed. I just want to win.

"There will be other young players like me but a lot of boys like the passing side more.

"Don't get me wrong, I like to play with the ball. But I also don't mind doing the dirty side, I enjoy it. If you can do both, it's a bonus.

"I've heard the Lanarkshire Kante thing but you can't compare me to Kante - yet! He's something else but it's nice to hear people talking about me like that.

"I look at guys like him who do the kind of job I'm trying to do. The gaffer always tells me, do the free stuff. The running, the hassling. If I do that, the other bits will follow."

Plentyof youngsters like Campbell get their chance at first-team level and freeze in the spotlight.

But this teenager has thrived on the pressure ever since Mark McGhee gave him a debut.

And having forced his way into gaffer Stevie Robinson's plans this term, he's showing no signs of taking the foot off the gas.

He said: "I wasn't daunted by playing in the first-team. And getting a Scotland U21 call-up then the new contract - they're big bonuses. It hasn't really sank in yet."

Next week, Campbell will be part of Scot Gemmill's U21 side when they face Latvia and Ukraine in vital Euro 2019 qualifiers.

Scotland have a genuine chance of making the play-offs and, having never been called up at any level before, Campbell is savouring the experience.

He said: "Scot, like the manager here, is playing me so I'm thankful that he believes in me.

"I'll get stuck in, do the free stuff, and play football when I can. If I do that hopefully it will be enough to keep me in the team."


BALL-WINNER Well's Campbell gets to grips with Gers star Graham Dorrans

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Nov 5, 2017
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