After solid transfer windows, both Liverpool and Leicester City have made strong starts to the season – the former especially.
Following a bitter loss in the Champions League Final to Real Madrid, Liverpool strengthened heavily over the summer. One of their new arrivals, Naby Keita has been a revelation for the Reds so far this season and looks like he’s going to be a key player this year.
Wilfred Ndidi recently signed a new six-year deal to stay at Leicester City and despite only being 21, he looks like he’s got a big future ahead of him.
Both players play at a high pace, high tempo style and it looks as though Leicester and Liverpool have got two midfield dynamos.
Brought in to replace the hole left by now Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante, Ndidi has featured heavily for Leicester since he arrived in the 2017 January transfer window.
Leicester have become one of the savviest teams in the transfer market over the last few years, and it seems Ndidi might be one their latest steals. Capable of playing as holding midfielder or in a box-to-box role, Ndidi is slowly becoming one of the best young talents in the league.
Partnering Nampalys Mendy in midfield, Ndidi has become a rock at the base of Puel’s midfield. Tall yet incredibly mobile, Ndidi can be likened to a young Patrick Vieira although technically he still needs to improve. He can also pick a pass but his strongest attribute is in his ability to stifle an attack and then burst forward from deep.
Valued at £22.5 million by Transfermarkt, it’d be a surprise if Ndidi isn’t playing for a top-six club in the near future.
TT grade: B+
Liverpool had to wait for a season before the diminutive midfield dynamo arrived at Merseyside. Widely regarded as one of the stars of European football during his time with RB Leipzig, Keita has looked superb in his four appearances for Liverpool this season.
Much like Ndidi, Keita excels at being able to pick the ball up from any area and burst forward, however, he also has the ability to beat defenders and play a key pass. With Alex Oxlade-Chamerblain out for the whole season, Klopp needed a midfielder who could come him and add some energy into a midfield that is key to the German’s pressing game.
Not only will he add dynamism to Liverpool, as proven by his time in the Bundesliga he can chip in with goals and assists from midfield, although with Liverpool’s devastating front three, that might not be needed.
After so many years without a title, Keita might be the final ingredient to bringing a Premier League title to Anfield.
TT Grade: A-
Both midfielders are key to the fortunes of their respective clubs. At only 21-years-old, it’s going to take a bit more time for Ndidi’s potential to come through but the early signs look pretty good for the Nigerian.
He’s dynamic, strong and great at breaking up an attack. Technically, he still needs to improve but that’ll come with time.
Keita on the other hand, looks like he’s going to be a star for Liverpool this season. His ferocious energy in midfield is something akin to N’Golo Kante. The 23-year-old is only going to get better as the season goes on and due to his instant impact on a title-contender, the Liverpool man wins this one.