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
Boubakary Soumare of Leicester City looks on during the Premier League match between Leicester City and West Ham United at The King Power Stadium on May 28, 2023 in Leicester, England. (Photo by Malcolm Couzens/Getty Images) /

Boubakary Soumare – Games (29) – Goals (0)

An enigma that went missing for personal reasons in 2021-2022 somehow found his way back into the team. This campaign, Soumare was barely any better than Ndidi as a defensive midfielder, he was 54th in the Premier League for interceptions and 59th for tackles. Just like Ndidi he made zero goal contributions and had barely any effect on the overall progressive play of the game.

He is more progressive in his passing and positional play but like many in the squad, he blows warm and very cold regarding his form. The one moment that gives me hope is his second-half performance against Wolves, where his all-round game lifted to new heights before he played a key part in creating the winning goal. It’s 50/50 as to whether he sticks around after this summer but maybe a season in the Championship could help build his confidence.

Nampalys Mendy – Games 24 – Goals 1

The most damning evidence of how poor the midfield has been is in how much the stature of this Senegalese international has grown over the season. He is arguably the only consistent midfielder the Foxes have had all season, performing his task consistently and rarely making errors.

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City sorely lacked players that can keep the play ticking over with sensible productive passes. Mendy is a good player but he has been so out of favour in his seven seasons at the club that it’s remarkable he has stuck around as long as he has. One positive memory of this season is the stunning long-range strike against Spurs, his only goal for the club but one that lifted the roof off the stadium. Farewell Nampalys, all the best.