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Sports Amartey, Mendy help Rodgers fight off Leicester's Ndidi dependency

03:06  30 september  2020
03:06  30 september  2020 Source:   sportingnews.com

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Injury to Wilfred Ndidi has opened the door for both Daniel Amartey and Nampalys Mendy to revitalize their Foxes' careers. For five matches in January, when forced to do without Ndidi in the squad, Brendan Rodgers ’ side struggled, keeping only one clean sheet and failing to win.

Amartey , Mendy help Rodgers fight off Leicester ' s Ndidi dependency Goal.com20:30 29-Sep-20. Daniel Amartey : Leicester City boss Rodgers reacts to Ghanaian's return from injury in Arsenal…

One wonders quite what Wilfred Ndidi was thinking as he watched Leicester rip Manchester City apart limb from limb at the weekend.

The Foxes winning in such dominant fashion will no doubt have filled him with glee, but there is no less desirable state for a professional footballer than not being able to play. That 5-2 evisceration of the Citizens at the Etihad Stadium was the first of (at least) 12 Premier League matches the Nigeria international will be forced to miss on account of a groin injury.

Chelsea: Lampard confirms the arrival of Mendy

 Chelsea: Lampard confirms the arrival of Mendy © Supplied by Sports.fr Edouard Mendy Promised to the Blues for many weeks, Edouard Mendy is more than ever on the way to joining Chelsea. “He is currently undergoing his medical examination as we speak. Provided it is OK, he will then be with us, ”said the coach of the London training Frank Lampard on Tuesday at a press conference.

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Leicester missed Ndidi for five-of-six games in early 2020 and went 2D-3L, starting a skid that “It’ s a groin abductor which may have come off the bone, which is quite a nasty one. The Foxes have Nampalys Mendy , Hamza Choudhury, and Daniel Amartey amongst their defensive midfield options.

Beyond further burnishing Jamie Vardy’s healthy recent record against City and aggravating Pep Guardiola’s already frayed nerves, Sunday’s result was instructive in that it answered a long-standing question and, in doing so, demonstrated Leicester’s immense growth.

For five matches in January, when forced to do without Ndidi in the squad, Brendan Rodgers’ side struggled, keeping only one clean sheet and failing to win. After consecutive defeats – to Southampton and Burnley – in which leads were thrown away late on, the midfield enforcer was hurried back for the following match against West Ham United.

To his credit, he steadied the ship as Leicester won 4-1, but managed to exacerbate the pre-existing knee injury and was ruled out for the subsequent three matches.

Mercato Chelsea: It's done for Mendy

 Mercato Chelsea: It's done for Mendy © Supplied by Sports.fr Julien Stéphan has confirmed that Edouard Mendy's departure is imminent. The Blues will pay 25 million for a goalkeeper called to take Kepa's place. According to RMC Sport, Édouard Mendy is committed to Chelsea, his arrival to be formalized during the day. Mentioned for several weeks, the transfer of Edouard Mendy to Chelsea is now complete.

Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers has expressed his delight with the return of Wilfred Ndidi from injury. “Apart from that, Daniel Amartey has been out for a period of time, but everyone else is okay.” Ndidi has been a consistent performer for the King Power Stadium outfit before the injury

Leicester gameplan was spot on. Manchester City 2-5 Leicester City: Rodgers delighted with Leicester ' s two central midfielders, Youri Tielemans and Nampalys Mendy , were fantastic They played in a three with Daniel Amartey at Etihad Stadium, but Evans coming back after his suspension

A pattern appeared to be emerging: without Ndidi’s stern policeman act at the base of midfield, Leicester simply could not win matches.

Wilfred Ndidi holding a football ball: Ndidi PS © Provided by Sporting News Ndidi PS

This defeat of Manchester City has so convincingly upended that narrative: even shorn of the 23-year-old, the Foxes were all business, holding off the hosts’ monied horde before breaking with fury into the space behind their midfield. It was ruthless; it was impressive; it was revelatory.

Rodgers’ strategy for replacing his talisman was simple, but demonstrated a greater awareness and understanding of what went wrong back in January. Whereas then he sought to plug the gap directly by rather crudely attempting to jam Nampalys Mendy into an ill-fitting hole, this time he recognized it was necessary to fulfil Ndidi’s usual function not with one, but with two players.

That meant midfield duty for French-born Senegalese terrier Mendy, but also the inclusion of Ghana international Daniel Amartey – for only his second match back from a debilitating 23-month lay-off – in a back three.

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Mendy handed Chelsea debut against Aurier’ s Tottenham Hotspur. Chelsea boss Lampard pleased with Mendy debut despite Carabao Cup exit to Tottenham.

Rodgers has turned Leicester into genuine Champions League contenders, continuing his record of success at Celtic, Liverpool and Swansea. He is, however, still battling to overcome the sour memory of his sacking by Liverpool, just months after nearly leading them to an unlikely Premier League title only

“I spoke to him briefly in terms of how well he’d been training and then he felt the confidence of coming into the game,” Rodgers said of his decision to throw Amartey into the fray. “I wanted to see how he would do because he’d done so well in training.”

His faith was rewarded by a performance of consummate solidity, but also one that told a story of redemption.

a football player on a field: Nampalys Mendy Leicester City © Provided by Sporting News Nampalys Mendy Leicester City

Both Mendy and Amartey, signed in the glow of Leicester’s title-winning season, have suffered more than their fair share of injuries.

Both have been maligned for lacking the quality required for the Premier League, and indeed it was Mendy’s inability to adequately replace N’Golo Kante that led Leicester to enter the January window for Ndidi in 2017.

Both have also been on the verge, at various times, of leaving the club altogether; as recently as this window, there was talk of interest from Fulham in the Ghanaian.

To emerge from that darkest of depths into the light of relevance in such dramatic circumstances is the sort of script football can write from time to time, but that does not in any way dampen its emotive impact.

Leicester's Ndidi could miss 3 months with adductor injury

  Leicester's Ndidi could miss 3 months with adductor injury Leicester City midfield ace Wilfred Ndidi could be sidelined up to three months after suffering an adductor injury during Sunday's victory over Burnley. Foxes boss Brendan Rodgers confirmed Friday that the Nigerian international will undergo surgery and is set for a long-term spell on the treatment table. "That (surgery) will take probably place tomorrow morning," Rodgers said. "It's just unfortunate, it's come right off the bone, so he's goingFoxes boss Brendan Rodgers confirmed Friday that the Nigerian international will undergo surgery and is set for a long-term spell on the treatment table.

“He’s worked his way back to a really good level,” Rodgers gushed over Amartey, and it may well be that, four years on, Leicester will finally be able to get the best of the player they signed from FC Kobenhavn.

Daniel Amartey wearing a blue shirt throwing a ball: Daniel Amartey - Leicester City © Provided by Sporting News Daniel Amartey - Leicester City

The sense has always been that his versatility, more than anything else, makes him valuable beyond his actual level of performance; by putting both together as he did on Sunday, it appears he has found a second wind at the club.

It remains to be seen, of course, whether this set-up is a long-term strategy on Rodgers’ part.

However, the fact he deployed a similar structure against Arsenal in the League Cup a week ago, albeit with a weakened side, suggests there was more to his tactical approach than simply shutting City out at the weekend.

If so, that’s the Ndidi conundrum well and truly solved, the knock-on effect of which will be (hopefully) a full recovery and proper rehabilitation for the Nigeria international come December. It also gives both Mendy and Amartey a greater spread of opportunity on which to write their Leicester stories. Everyone wins.

Fly away, Fofana! .
© Provided by Sofoot At 19, Wesley Fofana is about to leave the Saint-Etienne nest to find another across the Channel, much more important and ambitious, near Leicester. This transfer, which will become the biggest sale in the history of the Greens, is testament to the meteoric rise of the native of Marseille, who ultimately only has a large handful of professional games. But, it is well known, the value does not wait for the number of years.

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