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Nigeria’s Wilfred Ndidi on His Way to Leicester City

Wilfried Ndidi will travel to Leicester in a 15M move later this week after playing his last game for Genk on 27th.

Viewed as Kante’s possible replacement, Ndidi has already proved he has potential to become a true- world class defensive midfielder. His ball winning skills and tackles are superb – clean and perfectly timed. Just like Kante, he enjoys running all the time.

The Nigerian International however, played down the comparison and said, [perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“I don’t have to be Kante. We are different players. I have my own style of play and I don’t want to be under pressure to be another player. I just have to go there (Leicester City) and play my own game.”[/perfectpullquote]

He added, “I am more comfortable in the midfield. I am now more used to playing there than in other positions.” And unlike the Chelsea midfielder, Ndidi is tall and extremely good in the air.

The 20-year-old started out as a defender but was moved into the midfield by Peter Maes in 2015, a change that proved an instant success. Genk coach Maes said, [perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“Ndidi can be compared to Yaya Toure. He should become a top player.”[/perfectpullquote]

Ndidi’s performances earned him recognition across Europe as he featured for Genk in all their 12 Europa League Matches – finishing as one of the top runners and tacklers in both qualifying round and group stage. Leicester reportedly beat the likes of Manchester United to his signature.

As a son of the Nigerian army sergeant, Ndidi grew up in a military camp and his parents told him to stop kicking the ball around and concentrate on his studies. When he was 15, the Nath Boys academy discovered him.  Ndidi described the academy in his sport/voetbalmagazine interview as a training center that not only teaches football but also prepares the boys for life. Ndidi was spotted by Roland Janssen in 2013, “He was tall and lanky, impossible to miss. His calmness was very unusual for such a young player.”

Ndidi became the first ever Nath boys graduate to make it to Europe and he now gets to join fellow countryman Ahmed Musa at Leicester City and play in one of the greatest leagues in the world.

For a young player whose mentality is described as perfect, a true team player, unselfish, disciplined tactically and works hard in training, Leicester may have scooped themselves a golden boy and a taller Kante.


Featured Photo: Courtesy of Bruno Fahy / picture alliance / dpa

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