Move Ndidi, move

•Nigerian fans urge Ndidi to move

Despite being hit with several injuries in the past two years, which has seen his form drop, Wilfred Ndidi is still regarded as one of the best ball winners in the English Premier League and beyond.

By all standards, that is one of the highest compliments a Nigerian plying his trade abroad can receive.

The Super Eagles midfielder joined Leicester City from Genk in 2016/17, following the sale of Frenchman Ngolo Kante, who at that time was the Foxes’ best defensive midfielder, to Chelsea.

Ndidi, who was only 19 years of age as at the time, ticked the boxes and put up impressive performances in his debut season at the King Power Stadium and has since grown to become a mainstay in the Foxes first team.

He may come way short in his passing ability, but the 25-year-old is great at what he does and that is why his ball-winning prowess, his incredible stamina – which saw him feature 38 out of 38 times in the league in his first full season – and his impressive tackling skills cannot be questioned.

The midfield linchpin has elevated himself into this group of world-class players not just by filling the void left behind by Kante, but also by improving on his performances every season and little wonder, following his two full seasons with the Premier League side, the Nigerian became a target of top European clubs Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester United.

Despite the interests, the Nigerian remained committed to Leicester City.

Before the close of the last transfer window, the Lagos-born midfielder once again became the subject of many transfer speculations, with Madrid again at the centre of it all.

The Spanish giants and champions of Europe made a return for the Nigerian to fill in for the departed Brazilian Casemiro, while Barcelona were also in the market for a replacement for the ageing Sergio Busquets.

Manchester United and Arsenal were also not left out of the chase for the midfield genius, and like in the previous years, he once again chose to stay put with the Foxes.

He’s had to play several roles since his arrival from Belgium. There was a brief dalliance with a spot at centre-back last season, which did little for him.

He may be an expert ball winner, but Ndidi is certainly no central defender.

This season, he has also had to play as a central defender, with manager Brendan Rodgers preferring to play Boubakary Soumare at the base of his midfield. Ndidi’s deficiency in possession was put under the microscope when he cheaply gave away possession to allow Rodrigo Bentancur score for Tottenham Hotspur.

There have been concerns over Leicester’s handling of Ndidi’s injuries down the years. Those concerns have come to a head in recent times, and suddenly a player who earned plaudits for his durability has suddenly become brittle.

“Wilfred Ndidi is almost never rested, almost never gets subbed, hardly ever gets a proper break after international tournaments, never properly rehabs injuries. Players are not machines. His body is rebelling now, just like Kante’s has done over last 18 months,” nigerian journalist Solace Chukwu stated on Twitter in 2020.

Two years later, it’s still the same story.

Ndidi’s unalloyed commitment to Brendan Rodgers’ side is laudable, but with the next transfer window set to open immediately after the World Cup in Qatar, some Nigerians are already advising the midfielder, who is getting to the peak of his career, to consider moving to another club as his future no longer lies with Leicester, who are struggling to remain in the topflight.

Ex-international Nduka Ugbade in an interview with APROKOVIBES Sports Extra once advised the Leicester City midfielder to consider a switch to any of the top clubs in Europe should an offer comes.

“Ndidi is one of the best defensive midfielders in the world but he has a contract with Leicester,” Golden Eaglets coach Ugbade said.

 “I will prefer he moves if a very good club comes with a good offer, clubs like Inter Milan, Manchester United, Liverpool, Barcelona and Real Madrid. Should the biggest team in the world come for him, I would want him to go there and play.

“I won’t rule out a move to Bayern Munich, Manchester City and even PSG because he is a player with a lot of qualities.”

Other football fans have now joined in echoing the voice of the China ’85 U-17 World Cup winner to Ndidi to move.

“You cannot question Ndidi’s loyalty and commitment to Leicester City, but there comes a time in a player’s career when he must consider moving,” Wole Popoola, a Chelsea fan, said.

“He is 25 years now and he probably has five years left, so, I will implore him to move to another club now.”

Another fan Tope Adekunle added, “Footballers’ careers are short no matter how long it may seem. I will urge Ndidi to move to another club now that he still has the time.”

“It will be a great shame if a day comes and Ndidi finds himself regretting not playing for any of these top clubs who came begging,” Daniel Eghodaghe, an engineer, opined.

“He has the quality and everything it takes to play for any of the top European clubs and it will be a shame to see such talent go to waste.”

Maureen Davies, a Manchester United fan, also said, “Ndidi has been recently prone to injuries but he is still a good player. It is best for him to move now that he still can.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *