Last weekend’s match against Brighton & Hove Albion was an accurate reflection of Leicester City’s season so far. Brendan Rodgers’ men currently occupy 12th spot in the Premier League table, following a 2-1 defeat at the Amex Stadium. They just have two wins from a total of five encounters so far.
Rodgers’ postgame thoughts were critical of the refereeing decisions that went against the Foxes. They had two goals that were disallowed because of offside – VAR was consulted on both occasions. Rodgers was specifically more critical of the decision to rule out Wilfred Ndidi’s header that could have rescued his side a point. In the end, Rodgers attributed his side’s failure to rescue the game to luck.
Was it bad luck? Or are things different to last season? We shall take a look at one of Leicester’s key players last season to see how he is faring so far in this campaign.
Wilfred Ndidi arrived at the King Power Stadium in 2017. He was considered by many to be the replacement for former Leicester City midfielder N’Golo Kante. Since then, he has improved considerably and has been a prominent part of Leicester’s midfield. The Nigerian has flourished in the defensive midfield role for the Foxes and his stats in that department are matched by only a handful of players.
Ndidi is expected to continue his performance for the Foxes as they look to turn around their season.
Let’s take a look at some of his stats from last season and the current season to better understand his role.
Ndidi’s heat map from the last season displays his tireless work rate on the pitch. He is almost ever-present in the field, dropping deep in his own half to protect his centre halves and carrying the ball forward during transition.
His duel map last season shows his involvement in duels all over the pitch. His adeptness in winning the ball both aerially as well as on the ground has been an asset for the Foxes.
In just 26 league appearances last season, he had 61 interceptions, 52 clearances and 57 aerial duels wins. His interception map displays his contribution in intercepting passes. It further indicates that he fulfils his defensive duties effectively.
For the current season, Ndidi’s heat map is starting to evolve into a similar shape as last season. His heat map so far this season shows that he has mostly occupied the central zones and half-spaces in his defence.
His duel map this season is impressive considering the number of games he has played. He has been active in duels all over the pitch, most active in his own half.
He currently has 14 interceptions in just five league appearances, which puts him second in the league behind Everton’s Michael Keane. So far, this season he has intercepted balls mostly in his own half.
Wilfred Ndidi’s defensive stats from last season as well as from this season indicates that he is going to continue to be a major part of Leicester’s midfield. The Nigerian is a prolific asset for Brendan Rodgers. Although bad luck did play an important role in the last game when his goal was disallowed, his stats suggest that he is going to continue his brilliant performances in the defensive midfield areas for Leicester this season.