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Leicester Stock Watch: Europa League dreams up

Another good performance brought the club closer to a return to European competition.

Leicester City v Watford - Premier League Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images

The Foxes continued their good form and took down Watford 2-0 at the King Power. The win saw the team rise to seventh in the table and move closer to Europa League contention.

The win was a fairly impressive one, as Leicester City was on the front foot for the majority of the affair. This was thanks to some improved performances:

Stock Up

The new backline: As a result of a few injuries Leicester’s backline is almost unrecognizable. The current back-four, however, is performing much better than would have been expected. Aleksander Dragović and Daniel Amartey have been the most pleasant surprises of the bunch. The pair has improved with more game time and given Puel something to think about when everybody is healthy. Amartey in particular has shown significant growth; so much so that Jack Lee named him the performer of note against Watford. Meanwhile, Ben Chilwell has supplanted Christian Fuchs as the go-to left-back under Puel, and performed admirably while doing so. Harry Maguire’s dominant displays have become commonplace, though he was especially affective in this game. The game marked the fifth consecutive clean sheet for the Foxes.

Leicester City v Watford - Premier League
Daniel Amartey (left) carefully placing Richarlison in his pocket.
Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Wilfred Ndidi: Wilf may have been the man of the match against Watford. His energy is ever-present and his defensive contributions are paramount for the Foxes. He put in six tackles and five clearances in this game and did so with exceptional timing in addition to his positioning and work rate. He has also made strides towards being a complete player, showing more range as an offensive presence. Ndidi took four shots in the game, a couple of which were particularly threatening. He also attempted more passes than any other Leicester player and even completed a few sublime long-balls.

Jamie Vardy: The Hamstring Destroyer is a menace. He terrorizes opponents with regularity, but it took a few games for him to get back on the scoresheet where he belongs. Thanks to some missed time with a groin injury, his last goal came in the loss to Liverpool on the 30th of December. He was back in full-effect in this one, however. Vardy was remarkably active and constantly threatening and was rewarded with a penalty when he was taken down in the box by former teammate Molla Wagué. He went with a softer approach than usual and slotted the ball in the bottom corner of the net rather than smashing it.

Stock Down

Vicente Iborra and Andy King: Another case of players having their stock drop through no fault of their own. Iborra and King are certainly still talented players capable of contributing to the team. And Iborra in particular I imagine will still be afforded opportunities to do so. Still, with the addition of Adrien Silva, Wilfred Ndidi becoming an irreplaceable fixture, and Matty James finally getting healthy and performing at a high level, there will be less opportunities for them in the midfield. This was evident in the fact that neither King nor Iborra was even in the squad against Watford.