Analysis: Hamza Choudhury showing resilience after being handed Leicester City lifeline
Choudhury has came through the ranks at the Foxes but has yet to cement a first-team spot since making his debut in 2017 | Photo: Getty. Quality Sport Imhaes

On transfer deadline day, it looked highly likely that Leicester City’s Hamza Choudhury was going to depart the club to join Newcastle United on loan for the rest of the season.

However, the midfielder has been given a new lease of life at the Foxes to impress Brendan Rodgers and it’s safe to say he hasn’t made a bad start in doing so since.

Choudhury played 61 minutes against Fulham last Wednesday, before featuring once again at Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday, where he put in a man-of-the-match performance.

Although Wilfred Ndidi is expected to return from injury when Leicester face Brighton & Hove Albion in mid-week, Choudhury has forced his way back into the fold with two astute performances in the middle of the park.

Developing into Rodgers’ style

There’s no doubt the Foxes boss wants the right profile of player to play in that defensive midfield position. Nampalys Mendy has filled into that role when Ndidi is missing, whilst Choudhury has struggled to adapt to what Rodgers needs, but he showed on the weekend how he is adapting his game to fit into the team.

The 23-year-old looked comfortable on the ball and controlled the tempo of the game when he needed to do so, especially during the first half. Having had a pass completion rate of 95% as well as completing one accurate long ball, Choudhury has previously been criticised for his distribution but he is showing that he has been working to improve whilst in possession.

He was equally as impressive in the defensive department, pressing when he needed to whilst staying disciplined to keep Wolves at bay. Choudhury had a 100% tackle success rate (5/5), won five of his duels and made six recoveries which protected the back four, nullifying space for Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho to create opportunities.

Rodgers always likes to play with one ‘sitter’, whether that be Mendy, Ndidi or Choudhury, and although it has only been two matches, the latter performed to a level that he will be hoping to replicate when he is given another chance.

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Competing with Ndidi

The recent displays of Choudhury has given Rodgers another option to think about and with Ndidi returning from injury, it will be interesting to see what the City boss does with managing game time. Ndidi has missed 17 of Leicester’s 32 matches in all competitions this season and it is has proved to be an issue when he doesn’t play.

When the Nigerian is fully fit, he comes straight back into the side. The quality in which Ndidi possesses should be something Choudhury could learn upon and develop his game as there’s no doubt he still has a huge part to play this term. With the ex-Genk midfielder still recovering from being sidelined, Choudhury will be needed to come in, even if it is for cameo appearances and occasional starts.  

The Foxes are currently competing in three different competitions and are due to play six more matches in February, with a hectic fixture schedule expected from now until the end of the season. Although Ndidi will still be Rodgers’ first choice when he’s fit, the number of games will give Choudhury more opportunities to establish himself and fulfil his potential.

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