Speaking to L'Equipe, Netherlands legend Ruud Gullit said: "It's a bit like [former Italy defender] Franco Baresi, who didn't win it despite his level.
"Those who score attract more and more attention. It would be nice to see someone who attracts less attention for goals, like N'Golo Kante, who deserves to win."
Lionel Messi and Robert Lewandowski are believed to be the frontrunners for the 2021 Ballon d'Or following their goalscoring heroics for Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
However, Kante was instrumental in Chelsea's surprising Champions League triumph last season, establishing himself as a key player in Thomas Tuchel's midfield.