IBWM StaffComment

Wilfred Ndidi

IBWM StaffComment
Wilfred Ndidi

Midfielder | Leicester City | Nigeria

Can lightning genuinely strike twice? Are we looking at the next N’Golo Kante? Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, but Ndid was certainly signed to fill the void left by Kante, that much is clear. Cutting a leaner and taller frame to that donned by Kante, Ndidi has marshalled Leicester’s midfield with a mature head since his arrival in January 2017.

A tough-tackling, high energy and slick-passing approach are the pillars which prop up his style in a midfield anchor role. In many ways Ndidi represents a like-for-like replacement for Kante without the X-factor of the title-winning Frenchman, but that is certainly no disservice to the 21-year-old.

That murmurs of ‘we miss Kante’ are seldom, if ever uttered by Leicester supporters is a testament to Ndidi’s talent, while his 23-caps for the Nigerian national side tell their own story.

We are firmly backing Ndidi to flourish at this level and eventually make the transition to Champions League football, even if that necessitates a move away from the King Power Stadium.

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2018 has been…

A fine year for Ndidi. Substantiating and quantifying the success of a defensive midfielder is incredibly challenging with the use of statistical information, but you’ll have to take our word for it: Ndidi has been excellent in front of Leicester's defensive unit.

Claude Puel has entrusted him to run the midfield and the consistency of his form has made him one of the first names on the teamsheet. There are few standout moments for Ndidi to shout about, but that is typically a positive indicator for a midfield anchor. It only takes a quick look at slanderous opinions on Eric Dier to prove that Leicester’s lynchpin is doing something right.

12 clean sheets in 30 starts is about as enticing as it gets on the statistical front, with his lack of creativity restricting him to just one assist in 2018. That could well be an action point for Ndidi in 2019, as he certainly possesses the energy to offer an extra burst of dynamism from deep in the midfield.

What’s next?

An Ndidi inspired and universally unforeseen Premier League title victory is out of the question at Leicester. It’s difficult to assess the extent of his potential, but there is no question that his near-flawless transition to Premier League football points towards a glowing future.

The dizzy heights of Champions League football and regular title challenges may be waiting in the not too distant future, while his growing stature at international level could ultimately lead him down the path to captaincy.

Every team needs an unsung hero, a Mr reliable, a no-thrills enforcer. In the modern climate, Ndidi is one of the most exciting young players around matching that description, and the future is already shaping up very nicely for him.