Reports suggest that Leicester are set to acquire the services of 19-year-old Nigeria international, Wilfred Ndidi from Genk in an attempt to bolster their midfield ranks going into the second-half of the Premier League campaign.
After an epic title winning season, the Foxes have fallen well short of expectations seeing as they’ve failed to replicate last season’s performances in any form.
Leicester have garnered just 13 points from 14 games thus far, which is a stark contrast to the 28 points they had in as many games last season.
With just three wins so far this term, and being two points above the relegation zone, Leicester are in dire need of a player capable of galvanising the team.
Not necessarily an attack-minded player, though, but a player capable of filling in the massive gap N’golo Kante left behind when he made a spirited move to current table toppers, Chelsea.
Summer signing Mendy has been unavailable for selection thus far due to injury problems.
He was brought in to act as a direct replacement for N’golo Kante, but judging by his early days at the club, he’s set to fall the pecking order before he has a chance to show what he’s really made of.
Daniel Amartey and Andy King who have been tasked with protecting the back four and contributing to forward play have evidently not lived up to the billing – will Ndidi be able to, though?
Last season, Leicester had the most interceptions and tackles per game, with Kante leading the charge for both stats – 4.7 tackles per game and 4.1 interceptions per game.
Leicester have experienced a nosedive down the stats table as they’ve fallen to 15th place regarding tackles (16.5 per game) and 11th in terms of interceptions (14.5 per game).
With the situation so dire, what makes Ranieri think Ndidi can fix it? Well, Ndidi has made the most tackles per game in the Europa League with Genk (6.8) and has the 9th best successful interceptions per game (4.4).
Ndidi is, of course, a similar player to N’golo Kante; while not a potent goalscorer or someone who makes a lot of assists, the Nigeria international is a midfield powerhouse who works tirelessly to keep things compact at the back and flowing going forward.
Like Kante, the 19-year-old is fond of making standing tackles, rather than rushing in to bring opposition players down. He’s evidently a proper holding midfielder. Standing at 6ft 2inches tall, Ndidi also has a strong aerial presence, a relatively essential attribute for manning the middle of the park.
Judging by Ndidi’s stats, he could very well be Kante’s immediate replacement and could prove to be a salient player as Leicester try to get their season back on track.