By 90Min
September 27, 2019

There's a lot to like about the current Leicester City team. James Maddison, Youri Tielemans and Jamie Vardy often steal the headlines, but a player who often goes unnoticed is right-back Ricardo Pereira.

The Portugal international picked up Leicester's Player of the Season award last year, but still receives very little credit for his tireless work down the right of Leicester's side from those outside the club. That's certainly not how it should be. 

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After exploding onto the scene with both Nice and Porto, Ricardo earned himself a €25m move to Leicester in 2018, and he instantly became a core part of the Foxes' lineup. Blessed with fantastic stamina and attacking positioning, it was clear he would be a hit in the Premier League.

His buccaneering style of play quickly came on show as Ricardo made a habit of flying down the right wing to help his side in attack. The thing is, he didn't do this just once, he continues to do this time and time again.

What he offers at the attacking end of the pitch is outstanding. A fantastic crosser of the ball, Ricardo knows he must work his way into dangerous positions if he wants to help his side. He does so with frightening ease, although plenty of that credit must go to the creative duo of Maddison and Tielemans.

Ricardo can always be found flying down the wing, and he loves to cut inside and try his luck on goal. Whilst his finishing is by no means elite, the 25-year-old is reliable in the box, and that positioning helps him end up in the right place at the right time.

His goal in Leicester's recent 2-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur was the perfect example. It was no coincidence that, as the ball ricocheted around in the box, Ricardo just happened to be there to finish off the move. He planned it all perfectly and got the ultimate reward.

That kind of threat is a nightmare to defend. Opposing left-backs don't know whether to track a winger or Ricardo, and that fearsome reputation only affords him more opportunities to impress. With the ball at his feet, he can skip past a defender with ease, and it's then just a question of unleashing the right cross or shot.

However, obviously his attacking ability would not be enough alone to help him make it as a defender. He needs to be able to recover possession, which certainly isn't a problem for Ricardo.

Comfortable in the tackle and blessed with electric pace, Ricardo fancies himself against any winger in the Premier League, and he will often come out on top. Whether he needs to dispossess and opponent or simply block a pass, Leicester know they can rely on Ricardo.

He dominates in attack and he excels in defence, so why isn't he viewed as one of the league's best right-backs? Why can't he get into the Portugal squad?

Truthfully, there is no answer to those questions. It's clear he deserves to be heralded as one of the best in his position. Underestimate him at your own peril, because Ricardo will probably contribute to a goal against your team in the near future.

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