Super Eagles midfielder, Wilfred Ndidi will be aiming to achieve his third consecutive feat as the best tackler in the whole of the English Premier League come the end of the 2019/20 campaign, Completesports.com reports.
So far, so good, the 22-year-old who appears to have tackling in his DNA, having also emerged as the best tackler and interceptor combined at the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt has won two of such gongs since moving to England.
And that is in spite of the fact that the powerful midfield player has completed only two full seasons in the EPL, having teamed up with the Foxes in January 2017.
Ndidi was the most prolific tackler in the Premier League last season with 143 tackles, a success rate of 69% and a fraction ahead of former Everton star, Idrissa Gueye with 142 tackles.
One major advantage that Ndidi has going for him is the fact that his major competitor, Gueye has left the Toffees for Paris St-Germain earlier in the ongoing summer transfer window.
Meanwhile, football website, thebiglead.com has already tipped Ndidi as one of its top 50 players ahead of the new Premier League season which starts on Friday, August 9.
The website wrote: “Ndidi may get more attention if he played for a bigger club than the shocking one-time, underdog champion, Leicester City. He was one of the best defensive mids last season, leading all EPL mids with 144 tackles and was third in interceptions with 83.
“At just 22, turning 23 in December, he can still improve many parts of his offensive game. After appearing in 33 matches in 2017-18, Ndidi started in every match for the Foxes last season, building consistency and reliability.”
Ndidi’s 2018/19 Incredible Feats
Tackles completed: 143
Premier League standing: 1
LCFC standing: 1
Ndidi’s 143 tackles sees him take top spot ahead of Senegal central midfielder Gueye (142), Crystal Palace right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka (129) and fellow Fox Ricardo (118).
Since making his debut against Chelsea in January 2017, Ndidi has completed 349 tackles, with a success rate of 65 per cent.
He has completed 81 successful 50-50 challenges and has won 791 duels during a total of 88 Premier League games.
Interceptions made: 83
Premier League standing: 3
LCFC standing: 1
Alongside his tackling ability, the Nigerian enforcer ranks third in relation to interceptions made during the 2018/19 Premier League season.
Improving vastly on the 50 interceptions he made the previous campaign, only Watford’s Étienne Capoue (86) and Palace’s Wan-Bissaka (84) made more interceptions than Ndidi.
He has completed a total of 169 interceptions throughout his Premier League career, and has made 737 recoveries, further complementing his defensive skill.
Aerial battles won: 131
Premier League (midfielders) standing: 1
LCFC standing: 1
Ndidi’s 131 aerial battles won during 2018/19 once again puts him top of the charts among England’s top-flight midfielders, again building on his 2017/18 tally of 117.
In the Premier League rankings, he has won 43 more aerial battles than the next highest midfielder – Huddersfield Town’s Philip Billing (88).
To date, he has won 307 aerial battles in the Premier League and has made 117 headed clearances in 88 matches.
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