Leicester City of England midfielder, Wilfred Onyinyen Ndidi is receiving more rave reviews and plaudits, after lining out in central defence for the start of the English Premier League last weekend, megasportsarena.com reports.
Ndidi’s performance helped his side snatch a dramatic 3-0 win away to Semi Ajayi’s West Bromwich Albion, thereby leaving many pundits and fans hailing the former Nath Boys of Lagos and Racing Genk of Belgium star, who they unanimously declared delivered a solid display in an unfamiliar role.
Leicester coach, Brendan Rodgers and the club’s leading scorer, Jamie Vardy have now joined in showering plaudits on Ndidi, who has become one of the EPL’s best holding midfielders since arriving from Genk in 2017, but he was on Saturday lined out as a centre-back and he comported himself well against newly-promoted Ajayi and The Baggies.
Ndidi gave a good account of himself in the encounter, making 105 touches, an 88% successful pass rate and helped his side keep a clean sheet; as he flawlessly paired Caglar Soyuncu in the heart of defence, due to the unavailability of Jonny Evans, Wes Morgan and Filip Benkovic.
Plaudits galore have since then been flowing for Ndidi, who last season featured prominently in midfield as The Foxes finished fifth and now has a total of 121 EPL matches for the King Power Stadium outfit, with which he will hope to continue his solid performances when they take on Burnley in their next league outing this weekend.
Heading into that game, Ndidi has gained more accolades from Vardy and their coach, but Rodgers went on to affirm that he is not surprised by the youngster’s performance, considering that the lad had played in central defence with Nigeria’s under-17 and under-20 national teams, as well as during his early days with Genk.
Incidentally, it was during his last season at Genk that Ndidi was converted to feature as a holding midfielder, which Rodgers acknowledged led to the confidence he had to repose in the Super Eagles’ star filling in for that role in place of the missing lot, ahead of which he was first tried out at centre-back during one of their pre-season games.
Rodgers told BBC Sport: “Ndidi playing at centre-back was outstanding. He played 60 minutes there in a pre-season friendly. He did play there earlier in his career. He’s got the profile to play there – he’s big with a good leap.
“Even if he’d played there all his life it would be tough coming back from everyone playing different systems with national teams. It would always be difficult to be cohesive after a couple of days training.”
Vardy also praised the Nigeria international for excelling in the unfamiliar role while also hoping his side can build on Saturday’s victory, as he told Sky Sports: “We need to keep going, we need to continue working hard in training, taking it into the games. Wilf has played centre-back (and) I think he’s done really well, it is not his natural position.”