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N'Golo who?

We need to talk about the most underrated player in the Premier League this season

Wilfred Ndidi has done a tremendous job filling N'Golo Kante's boots at Leicester

Never let it be said that Dream Team don’t acknowledge the true top performers of the Premier League.

This season we have been entertained by Kevin De Bruyne’s ivention, Harry Kane’s insatiability and David De Gea’s heroics.

But we also appreciate the less glamorous side of the game.

Spurs are hopeful that Harry Kane will be fit to face Real Madrid

Rex Features
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You’ve made enough headlines, Harry

N’Golo Kante made central defensive midfield (or CDM as the FIFA generation call it) football’s most popular position with his title-winning energy but why aren’t more people praising the work of his replacement?

Wilfred Ndidi has been the most underrated player in the Premier League this season.

Leicester’s omnipresent midfielder has made more tackles (46) than any other player in the league this season.

He’s nine ahead of Aaron Mooy (another player who deserves plenty of plaudits) and Pablo Zabaleta in equal second place and comfortably clear of Tiemoue Bakayoko, Oriol Romeu and Idrissa Gueye.

He gets about

Getty Images - Getty
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He gets about

Ndidi also leads the way when it comes to tackles plus interceptions (61) — a combination that makes up the currency of worth for defensive midfielders.

Leicester’s early season form led to Craig Shakespeare’s departure but the Foxes are unbeaten in their last six games and Ndidi’s dominant midfield performances have been key to their upward trajectory.

Garth Crooks probably hates his hair though

Getty - Contributor
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Garth Crooks probably hates his hair though

The Nigeria international knows what he is; he makes no secret of his uncomplicated style.

His job is to win possession for his side and so far he’s done that more often than any of his peers.

His partnership alongside the more experienced Vicente Iborra has proved beneficial in recent weeks.

The ex-Sevilla player has established himself as something of a fan favourite already and his combative style has made the middle of the park at the King Power dangerous ground for any pretentious playmakers.

The pair are probably the first names on Claude Puel’s team-sheet currently.

The Foxes midfield is full of industry

Getty - Contributor
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The Foxes midfield is full of industry

Ndidi showed last season that the £17million Leicester had paid Genk for his services was a wise investment.

His tally of 11 tackles in one game against Liverpool was bettered only by Kante last term, who managed 14 against the same opponents.

Kante was rightly rewarded for his imperious form last campaign with the PFA Players’ Player of the Year, the Football Writers’ Footballer of the Year and the Premier League Player of the Year awards.

While we’re not suggesting that Ndidi should be in contention for the same prizes, the 20-year-old certainly has the potential to emulate his predecessor’s success.

Leicester have not suffered from the loss of Kante as much as many would have thouht

Getty - Contributor
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Leicester have not suffered from the loss of Kante as much as many would have thouht

The world’s top clubs are always on the hunt for effective ball-winners and if Ndidi has made the most tackles of any player in the league come May then Leicester can expect some interest.

For now though, the fans can continue to be thankful for his work while trying not to draw too much noise about him.

Best to keep him as their little secret as long as possible.


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