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Leicester Stock Watch: Ndidi shines in loss to Liverpool

The losses are piling up for the Foxes, but that doesn’t mean we’ve played poorly.

Leicester City v Liverpool - Carabao Cup Third Round Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

Another good performance and another loss for Leicester City. The Foxes currently sit 17th in the table with just four points after this early gauntlet, though things could easily have been different as they continue to lose in tight affairs.

Whether this bodes well for the rest of the season remains to be seen, but that won’t stop us from analyzing what these performances mean for the squad right now:

Stock Up

Wilfred Ndidi: The rock solid midfielder is regaining his form. For the first few weeks of the season Ndidi appeared to feel the effects of losing his midfield partner Danny Drinkwater, but he put in a comfortable performance against Liverpool. His passing accuracy was still probably below what he would hope and he was too tired to get back for Liverpool’s third goal, but he was third on the team in touches, pushed the team forward, dominated in the air, and made countless tackles, interceptions, and clearances.

Leicester City v Liverpool - Premier League Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Danny Simpson: Steady. Dependable. These are the things you think of when you think of Danny Simpson. Rarely does he flash on screen for anything other than a far-post clearance. Against Liverpool, however, he regularly pushed the team forward and overlapped with Riyad Mahrez on the wing. He was fourth on the team in touches, he successfully completed 75% of his passes (third best on the team), and he put in three crosses. This wasn’t the most influential offensive performance, but he was more impactful on that end than he normally is while still maintaining his steady defensive presence.

Jamie Vardy: I wasn’t sure if I was going to place Vardy here for a couple of reasons. For one, we’ve come to expect good performances from our leading man. He also missed a crucial penalty that would have likely secured a point for us. But his performance was too impressive to leave off. He was a pest all game, harassing the Liverpool backline and even the keeper. This resulted in several clear chances and he eventually got a poacher’s goal after a save on Demarai Gray’s cracking volley. He also drew the penalty that he would eventually miss. Overall, it was a good performance from Leicester’s leader.

Honorable Mention: Shinji Okazaki - Yes, he’s here again. Shinji scrappily put away another goal, taking his tally to four in seven games this term. He’s becoming one of the most important players in the squad.

George Thomas - The newly acquired youngster has yet to make his senior debut, but at this rate that may not be the case for too much longer. Thomas netted twice against the Chelsea U23s to continue his blistering start to the Premier League 2 campaign.

Stock Down

Riyad Mahrez: Maybe this is just who Riyad is. Maybe it’s not an issue of effort. Maybe sometimes we’ll see the world-beating magician and sometimes we’ll see what we saw against Liverpool: a passive non-factor. Consistency appears to be the last trick left for him to master.

Kasper Schmeichel: This might be a bit harsh but he may have been able to do better on Mohamed Salah’s opening goal. He appeared to hesitate to get to the near-post as he may not have expected Salah to get a clean head on the ball. Not a bad performance, but the Dane was previously infallible.