One of France's next generation of defenders bossing the Bundesliga, Evan N'Dicka has become an integral part of the Eintracht Frankfurt defence since his arrival from the French second division two years ago. bundesliga.com profiles the Eagles' flying French phenom.
Club: Eintracht Frankfurt
Country: France (one U21 cap)
Born and raised in the French capital of Paris, N'Dicka quickly became of interest to several teams in his homeland, and duly joined Auxerre at the age of 13. The defender progressed through the club’s youth academy before making his professional debut in January 2017 as a 17-year-old.
It didn't take long for N'Dicka to attract interest around Europe, and after just 14 first-team appearances for Auxerre, the 6'4" defender joined Eintracht Frankfurt in the summer of 2018. Despite being only 18, N'Dicka quickly established himself in the Eagles' first-team under Adi Hütter, missing only seven Bundesliga games in his first season, as well as winning Rookie of the Month in February and being nominated for Rookie of the Season in 2018/19.
The left-footed centre-back – who has represented every France youth level from U16 to U21 – played on the left side of Frankfurt's three-man defence which reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Europa League, and he's continued his impressive progression in 2019/20 as an out-and-out left-back. After starting just one of the first nine league outings of the season, N'Dicka has since made a further 14 appearances and made his debut for the French U21 side in September last year.
Plays a bit like: Samuel Umtiti
Very similar, but not the same. N'Dicka says that playing to a standard of Barcelona and France centre-back Samuel Umtiti wouldn’t be too bad, and the pair have plenty of similarities already.
"I like Samuel Umtiti plays very much, he is very, very strong. I also like the way Raphael Varane plays. Or Adil Rami. I watch them. Getting close to this standard wouldn't be that bad for me."
Both left-footed, very comfortable on the ball and with pace to keep fast forwards in check, N'Dicka has been able to handle himself in the Bundesliga with those talents and many more. The main difference between the pair is N'Dicka’s height, which is not common for a player who is usually on the left of a back three, or playing at left-back. He's able to defend Kevin Trapp's back post with confidence, knowing it's rare that he'll be beaten in the air, standing at 6'4".
Did you know?
N'Dicka is one of many young French talents in the national team's U21 squad currently playing in the Bundesliga. He made his debut alongside current captain Ibrahima Konate, of RB Leipzig, while his club teammate Dayot Upamecano, Borussia Dortmund's Dan-Axel Zagadou and Bayer Leverkusen forward Moussa Diaby are also constant features in the current set-up.
Showing that as well as having world champions in Corentin Tolisso, Benjamin Pavard and Lucas Hernandez - all playing for Bayern Munich - the next best French players are also seeing the Bundesliga as a league to shine in.
What they’re saying
"I honestly have to say that I was surprised by his development. Evan has developed phenomenally. He's very attentive in the analysis of his own game. He's very modest and always takes a lot on board." – Frankfurt head coach Adi Hütter
"He was thrown in at the deep end and swam himself through. He shows no nerves and plays with great authority." – former Frankfurt star Alexander Schur
"From nothing, comes nothing. If you want to achieve something, you have to invest something. You have to make sacrifices - like everything in life if you want to get ahead." – N'Dicka