5.4 tackles, 36 interceptions – 3 reasons why this £15m star holds the key to Leicester’s success

Three reasons why Ndidi holds the key to Leicester City’s success

According to a recent report by Leicestershire Live, Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers has claimed that defensive midfielder Wilfred Ndidi is “absolutely key” to his side’s successes this season.

The £15m Nigerian has been one of the key figures and has helped Rodgers’ Leicester attain the second position in the table with 26 points.

Leicester City midfielder Wilfred Ndidi.
Leicester City midfielder Wilfred Ndidi. (Getty Images)

An unsung hero, Ndidi is one of the main reasons behind Leicester topping the charts with most tackles recorded per game (22.2) across the top-five leagues in Europe, as claimed by Whoscored.

Unlike star striker Jamie Vardy and playmaker James Maddison, Ndidi is not somebody to walk away with all the limelight. And there is ample reason behind it.

In Rodgers’ own words, however, he is the one doing all the ‘dirty work’, according to Leicestershire Live.

Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers seen during a premier league match.
Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers seen during a premier league match. (Getty Images)

The Foxes have conceded a mere 8 goals this season – the lowest by any team playing in the Premier League. And Leicester owe it all to their 22-year-old Nigerian sensation.

To be precise, let’s statistically evaluate as to why the Foxes midfielder is an inevitable element in Leicester’s excellent run of form this season.

Crucial player

Except for the game against Sheffield United, Ndidi has featured in every other match this season. The Nigerian has repaid his boss’ faith in him with consistent displays on the pitch.

Ndidi in full flow against Crystal Palace.
Ndidi in full flow against Crystal Palace. (Getty Images)

He has scored two goals till now – one of which came against Chelsea, where he was robbed off the ball by Mason Mount but responded superbly by scoring an equalizer.

Top performer

From a statistical point of view, the defensive midfielder has been their top performer of the season with an overall rating of 7.71. Only James Maddison has come close with 7.61.

He is only third behind Manchester City stars Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez, both of whom have scores of 7.85 and 7.74 respectively.

Manchester City midfielder Kevin de Bruyne celebrates a goal.
Manchester City midfielder Kevin de Bruyne celebrates a goal. (Getty Images)

Best defensive player

With 36 interceptions to his name, he is the best defensive player in the league at the moment. Bournemouth star Philip Billing trails him with 30 interceptions.

His average of 5.4 successful tackles and 3.3 interceptions per match is an applaudable achievement for a midfielder of his age.

Wilfred Ndidi engages in a tussle during a league encounter.
Wilfred Ndidi engages in a tussle during a league encounter. (Getty Images)

Also, his on-field displays have been of immense help to the Leicester defenders, who should thank him for reducing their workload.

Verdict

Taking all this into account, it is not surprising for the Foxes manager to heap praise upon this gem of a defensive midfielder.

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By all means, Ndidi has displayed enormous maturity for someone of his age and will be key in Leicester’s run for a top-three finish this season.

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Written by Siddharth Suresh

Hello folks, I am an avid football follower who likes to read, report and play the world's most beautiful game. My other hobbies include writing poetry, travelling and exploring new cultures.

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