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Let’s talk about Wilfred Ndidi for a hot second

A conversation about Leicester’s Nigeria midfielder and his new contract

Leicester City v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

Hey! I want to talk a little bit about Wilfred Ndidi. Didn’t he just sign a new, long-term contract?

He did! Assuming he plays out his entire contract, he’ll be at the King Power until 2024.

Why did you say “assuming he plays out his entire contract”?

How often do you see players stay with a club for the duration of their deal? He’ll almost certainly either sign an extension at some point or move on to another club.

Gee, that makes the length of the deal seem kind of arbitrary.

It does. That’s modern football for you. But, it gives the Foxes a lot of leverage should another club come calling for his services, so that’s nice.

Cool. Will he get to wear that sweet shirt with “2024” on the back?

Not in a game, no. The FA is pretty strict when it comes to squad numbers.

Bummer. I’m excited that he signed. Should I be?

Absolutely! Wilfred is one of the best players in the squad, and he’s one of the best defensive midfielders in England.

You’re just making that up to make me feel good, aren’t you?

Nope! Check this out:

Wow. That’s impressive. Is he really that good, or is that just an early-season fluke?

No sir! He won 137 tackles last year, the most in the Premier League. It wasn’t even close, either. Idrissa Gueye was second with 117 and N’Golo Kante was third with 113. That means he won 17% more tackles than any other player in the league.

So he’s really, really good defensively. Does he add anything to the attack?

Other than winning the ball and getting the attack started? He’s a work in progress when it comes to passing and shooting. He’s completed 82% of his passes this year, which his best mark so far, and he’s looking more comfortable with the ball at his feet and getting the ball forward more quickly.

How about scoring? Hasn’t he scored some screamers for us?

He has, but it’s been a while. He hit the post twice last year, and he’s certainly game to try to 25-yarder when a little space opens up, but he hasn’t recreated the magic of his 2016/17 season yet. Harry Maguire seems to have stolen it.

Leicester City v Stoke City - Premier League
That is the look of a man who had no idea the ball was going in. Also pictured, one very amused Riyad Mahrez.
Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

He seems really...good, doesn’t he?

He is. Remember, he starred at the World Cup as well.

So, signing him through 2024 is a good thing? Won’t he be really old then?

I think it is a good thing. Remember, he’s only 21 years old, so he’ll be 27 in 2024.

Wow! He’s been around so long, I’d forgotten how young he is. Is there any downside to this kind of a contract?

Not really. I guess if he suffers from chronic injuries, it could wind up being a bad deal, but otherwise, it’s hard to see how this is anything other than a really positive move for both the player and the club.

Okay, I’m convinced. Can I get one of those “Ndidi 20204” replica kits? I bet I can get one on the club site.

You do you, man.