Who’s to blame for Leicester relegation? Part 6: central midfield

Youri Tielemans of Leicester City (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Youri Tielemans of Leicester City (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images) /
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Leicester City
LEICESTER, ENGLAND – APRIL 04: Wilfred Ndidi of Leicester City running during the Premier League match between Leicester City and Aston Villa at King Power Stadium on April 04, 2023 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Will Palmer/Sportsphoto/Allstar via Getty Images) /

Wilfred Ndidi – Games (30) – Goals (0)

If you want to sum up Rodgers’ Leicester City reign in a nutshell then look no further than this once-feared Nigerian international. In the early years and before Rodgers arrived, Ndidi was one of the best defensive midfielders in Europe with stats consistently high for interceptions and tackles in the Premier League every year.

He has now been reduced to a shadow of his former self. He was as low as 32nd in the Premier League for interceptions and joint 47th for tackles. He has made two major errors that have led directly to goals and seemed to get robbed of the ball or bypassed altogether by opponents every game. As for attacking, he offered no goals or assists this season.

As for his on-the-ball distribution, it has (putting it politely) been woeful. A home game with Fulham was a particular lowlight with passes going anywhere but to teammates. This problem can mainly be attributed to the double-pivot midfield role where Big Wilf only has to be slightly pressed by opponents into making safe or sideways pass. During May there were two games in a row where Ndidi made no tackles at all. His quality and form have disappeared under this regime to such a level that he may struggle to find a new club.