In our latest instalment of the Flashback series, we take a look back at a certain moment and look at how things might have changed those initial reactions.
When Wilfred Ndidi first joined the club in January 2017 for a fee of £15m (BBC), there can’t have been many who would have thought the then 20-year-old would go onto be so influential for the Foxes.
At the time, Claudio Ranieri was still in charge at Leicester, though he was sacked in just the following month.
In fact, when Ndidi first joined the club, some Leicester fans were optimistic, however, they were hoping that the player could fill the huge void left by a certain N’Golo Kante. Little did they know then that the player would brush off any comparisons and become a top-class player in his own right.
On Twitter, when the club announced the signing, there was a huge amount of people comparing him to Kante, as you can see below…
— Ellis (@Youngest_Duce) January 3, 2017
we've just resigned kante. Remember this tweet.
— Harrison Kent (@harrisonk_9) January 3, 2017
— finlay wilson (@wilson_finlay) January 3, 2017
— Riley (@SmileyRiley201) January 3, 2017
Fast forward nearly three years and it’s been a sharp rise for Ndidi, who now is one of the Premier League’s most efficient players.
Over the course of last season, no player in the league registered more tackles than Ndidi (143, per the Premier League’s official website) and he came third overall for the most interceptions in the league with 83. This season, he’s continued that red-hot form, having recorded the joint highest amount of tackles this campaign with 35 and the most interceptions with 26.
With the 22-year-old averaging a mammoth 7.55/10 (WhoScored) from his opening seven matches this season, there really is no need for this individual to be compared with an ex-player – his performances have been better than that. In fact, Kante, who has played four times in the league for Chelsea this season averages far less per game with 7.07.
Ndidi, who signed a six-year deal in August 2018, now has a value which surpasses the transfer fee paid for Kante (£30m, per BBC), with Transfermarkt stating that he is worth £31.5m. However, considering that Harry Maguire was sold this summer for £85m (the Telegraph), it would be fair to assume that Leicester wouldn’t even be tempted by a fee of that much, especially with the player contracted until 2024.
Ndidi is a huge cog in this Leicester City team – much like N’Golo Kante was – however, his role in this Leicester team is worthy of praise that does not need to be compared to the French midfielder.
Just how good a signing has he been? Join the discussion by commenting below…Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!