Despite missing out on the chance to feature in the UEFA Champions League next season with Leicester City after finishing 5th on the English Premier League table, Wilfred Ndidi would surely be proud of his personal achievement in the just concluded 2019/2020 season. Ndidi who was on for the entire duration of Sunday’s (July 26, 2020) 0-2 loss to Manchester United ended the season as joint top tackler alongside Aaron Wan-Bissaka of Manchester United while his Leicester City teammate, Ricardo Pereira, finished third. The Super Eagles of Nigeria midfielder successfully completed 129 tackles just as Wan-Bissaka while Pereira placed third on 119 tackles.
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Since his arrival at the King Power Stadium from Belgian giants, Genk, for a reported fee of £15 million in 2017, 23-year-old Ndidi has been impressive for the Foxes. Signed as a long-term replacement for N’Golo Kante who moved to Chelsea FC after a title-winning campaign with the Foxes, the Nigerian topped the tacklers’ chart in the 2017/2018 season after successfully completing 138 tackles and was named Leicester’s Young Player of the Year for the 2017/18 EPL season. Ndidi would go on to prove his achievement was not a fluke as he achieved the same feat in the 2018/2019 season with a higher tackle rate of 144 ahead of Idrissa Gueye (then at Everton FC) who placed second with 143 tackles, and Wan-Bissaka (then at Crystal Palace) placed third on 128 tackles. Repeating this feat saw Ndidi become the first player in the history of the Premier League to top the tacklers’ chart for two consecutive seasons.
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The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations bronze-medalist has become the first footballer in the EPL to emerge as the best tackler for three consecutive seasons. Ndidi who is tied to the Foxes until 2024 could be priced away this summer as top European sides vie for his signature.
Featured image source: Goal.com