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Leicester City retaining this crucial 23-year-old star is absolutely vital to their progress

Why Leicester must keep hold of Wilfred Ndidi amidst exit links

Reports in Nigeria (h/t LeicestershireLive) claims that Wilfred Ndidi has been linked with a move away from the King Power Stadium.

Ndidi, 23, signed for the Foxes in the winter of the 2016/17 season. He is currently in his third season with the club and has been a key component in the midfield. Leicester’s unprecedented title-winning campaign in 2016 meant that their star players were on the move and it happened exactly.

N’Golo Kante’s departure meant the East Midland club were left without firepower in the centre of their team. But in came Ndidi, who had impressed in Belgium with Genk and his inclusion to the squad never left the void noticeable.

Wilfried Ndidi (L) (Getty Images)
Wilfried Ndidi (L) (Getty Images)

Having worked with Claudio Ranieri, Craig Shakespeare, Claude Puel previously, he has been the central figure under Brendan Rodgers this term.

The 23-year-old has made 120 appearances for the English outfit so far and seems to be getting stronger each day. He is the driving force that keeps Leicester ticking at the top of the table, one placed behind leaders Liverpool.

His importance the team has grown since the Northern Irishman took charge at Leicester City. Ndidi sits as a shield in front of their already dominant defensive unit.

His performances in the recent months have caught the attraction of Europe and there are rave reviews about Ndidi’s positioning and understanding of the game. He has established himself as one of the best defensive midfielders across Europe and it is no mean feat for a player of his age.

Wilfred Ndidi (Getty Images)
Wilfred Ndidi (Getty Images)

The Nigerian has not only improved in his defensive qualities but has also been able to position himself higher up the pitch. By starting in the deep of the midfield, he has gone on to notch up two goals for his side, the most recent one coming in the 5-0 demolition of Newcastle United.

Rodgers has used him so effectively that, at the moment, it would be a surprise to see if he is dropped from the team sheet. Ndidi has become accustomed to the anchor role and if Leicester allow him to leave, their fortunes might take a different turn.

Ndidi’s presence in the centre allows James Maddison and Youri Tielemans to move freely higher up the pitch and the playmaking duo are able to support Jamie Vardy in an advanced role, without having to think much about the defensive situation.

The former Genk man has registered the second-highest tackles (72) and is the player with most interceptions (47) made in the Premier League so far. A tireless runner on the pitch, Ndidi has been omnipresent on the pitch and has taken his game to a higher level.

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Having said all this, Leicester must make sure that they keep hold of him with their rivals Arsenal on the lookout for him in January, according to the report.