Leicester City’s sorry performance in their 1-3 defeat by Leeds United was a result of many problems. But few would argue with the fact that the absence of Wilfred Ndidi was pivotal to the Foxes’s dismal display.
The Nigerian missed the Leeds match after he suffered a minor hamstring tear in Leicester’s game against Everton. This saw Ndidi being substituted midway through the 1-1 draw, and it’s thought that the 24-year old will be out of action until next week.
While the Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers tried to compensate for Ndidi’s absence in the Leeds game, he admitted afterwards that the team would have benefitted from the defensive midfielder’s involvement.
As such, it’s little wonder that Foxes fans will be desperate for the Nigerian star to come back from the injury. Leicester had previously been putting in a strong bid to claim the Premier League title. As such it was hoped that the team would have what it took to recreate their incredible title-winning performance of just a few years ago.
But by losing points against Everton and Leeds, the Foxes have seen their title-winning odds lengthen on most of the wetten.com tested betting apps available in Canada. So what is it about Ndidi that has proven so pivotal to Leicester City’s Premier League ambitions?
Wilfred Ndidi’s statistics speak for themselves. In the current 2020/21 Premier League season, Leicester have picked up 26 points from a possible 33 in the games that he’s played. This is in contrast to the 13 points from possible 27 from the matches where Ndidi was absent.
All of which shows what a valuable asset Ndidi has become to Leicester. The 24-year old signed from Genk in 2017, and since then he has become an essential part of the Leicester side.
However, maintaining match fitness has recently proven to be a real challenge for the Nigerian star. Ndidi suffered a nasty adductor injury in September 2020, and was ruled out for much of the first part of the season. For a while it looked like the defensive midfielder was back to his best with a stunning goal in Leicester’s 2-0 win over Chelsea in January. But with a recurrence of injury, many Foxes will be counting down the days until Ndidi can return.
It comes at a time where many more Leicester stars have had to withdraw due to injury. The winter months are particularly hard on Premier League players, but the Foxes have suffered more than most. Alongside the absence of Ndidi, Leicester have been without star striker Jamie Vardy for more than two weeks due to hernia surgery.
Brendan Rodgers’s team has also had to struggle without Timothy Castagne. The defender was a relatively new arrival at the King Power Stadium and looked like a great new signing. However, Castagne has been suffering with a hamstring problem, and the talented youngster Wesley Fofana is thought to have a similar issue.
Leicester are still in the fight for playing European football next season. While Brendan Rodgers’ team are no longer fighting Manchester City and Manchester United at the top of the table, they can still put on a decent challenge against Liverpool, West Ham, Chelsea and Tottenham for a top-four finish.
Much of this is down to Brendan Rodgers’ ability to get as much as possible out of his much-depleted ranks. In particular James Maddison looks to be back to his best. The attacking midfielder has been hitting the back of the net more often than not in recent games, and is looking especially likely to claim a regular England appearance. Similarly, Harvey Barnes has started to show his true potential over the past few games.
However, with key players like Ndidi and Vardy out of action, it shows just how thin the Leicester squad is. While there are always plenty of rumours about who Leicester might sign, the sad fact is that the Foxes simply cannot compete with the sheer financial might of the so-called ‘big six’ of English football.
This was made evident last season when Leicester made a very promising start to their campaign only to lose ground in the spring months. As it stands there’s a very real chance that the same thing could happen to Brendan Rodgers’ side this time around. But with hopes high that Ndidi is set to make a comeback in the upcoming weeks, there’s plenty of room for optimism at the King Power Stadium.