Since joining Leicester City in 2017, Wilfred Ndidi has been through it all - from a Champions League quarter-final to a relegation battle. And now the midfielder is a crucial cog in a Leicester City machine that has flown into the top 4 of the Premier League (50 points from 26 games), one point away from Manchester City in second place.
Adding to this, players like Jamie Vardy, Çağlar Söyüncü and James Maddison have received most of the praise this season but its players such as Wilfred Ndidi that have kept things ticking over in midfield that has been so crucial for the foxes this season.
The Nigerian midfielder has made the third most amount of tackles in the league this season with 83 and an average of 4.1 per game which highlights Ndidi's ability to break up the play and initiate the counter-attack in the process. And it's this attribute that Leicester fail to replicate when the Nigerian is unavailable with the likes of Hamza Choudhury and Nampalys Mendy both recently attempting to fill in for the injured Ndidi, only to fail to replace the midfielder's ability both on and off the ball.
In fact, in the last two games that Ndidi hasn't featured in for Leicester City, the foxes have only come away with a point after drawing 2-2 to Chelsea and 0-0 to Wolves. Ndidi's absence was especially highlighted against Wolves when his replacement, Hamza Choudhury, was sent off after a second bookable offence.
This is something that Ndidi is yet to do this season with an almost perfect disciplinary record to his name of just 3 yellow cards. And when comparing Leicester's success rate with and without Wilfred Ndidi this season, the numbers are contrasting.
With Ndidi, Leicester have won 14, lost 4 and drawn 2 games. But without Ndidi this season, Leicester have won 5 out of 15 points with just the one win to their name and 2 losses, highlighting Ndidi's importance to the team.
To conclude, Wilfred Ndidi has been one of the unsung heroes of the Premier League this season and is slowly but surely becoming one of Leicester City's most important players as they look for a return to the Champions League after 3 years being away.
Published 15 Feb 2020, 18:27 IST