Monday, August 15, 2022
MARKET UPDATE
Advertisement

TheCable

Aftermath of Awoniyi record transfer: Ndidi needs to leave Leicester City

Aftermath of Awoniyi record transfer: Ndidi needs to leave Leicester City
June 27
15:24 2022

BY JONATHAN LEDGER

The summer transfer window is in full swing with several players already changing clubs, Erling Haaland and Darwin Nunez joining Manchester City and Liverpool respectively. Taiwo Awoniyi, Super Eagles striker, also joined the train of celebrated transfers following his record-breaking move to Nottingham Forest in the English Premier League (EPL). The former Liverpool trainee returns to the EPL in a 17.5 million pound deal to the newly-promoted side from FC Union Berlin in Germany.

While the country awaits the possibility of Victor Osimhen making another high-profile transfer, a top Nigerian international who should follow Awoniyi to take the next step in his impressive career so far is Wilfred Ndidi.

The midfield lynchpin has been the bedrock of Leicester City’s midfield since joining from Belgium’s KRC Genk in 2017. Despite an injury-ravaged 2021/22 season, the former Nath Boys youngster featured in 31 matches across all competitions and rarely disappointed. Ndidi has been a consistent performer and ranked within the 90th percentile in terms of defensive attributes including tackling, interception, clearances and aerial duels won when compared to other similar players in the top five European leagues.

Advertisement

Ndidi, at the height of N’Golo Kante’s powers in 2021, outperformed the energetic Frenchman in the aforementioned stats despite playing lesser amount of matches. He also set an EPL record for the highest number of ball recoveries in a match with 19 against Tottenham in December 2020. Aside from outsmarting Kante, he set an EPL record- and indeed in the top five European leagues, ranking highest in the number of successful tackles chart for three consecutive seasons from 2017/18 to 2019/20.

In addition to his well-known defensive midfield attributes, Ndidi is surprisingly also good at passing the ball, not only winning it, posting at least an 80% pass completion rate among players in his position for the past five seasons. This continued excellence has not gone unnoticed, as Ndidi was recently ranked joint 23rd on the list of the top thirty most valuable players in EPL, and is currently valued at €80 million with Paris Saint-Germain, French Ligue 1 champions, rumoured to be considering a bid.

Although the 25-year-old midfield general recently found success with the Foxes winning the 2021 English FA Cup and Community Shield respectively, more individual and team honours await him if his representatives can engineer a move to a big club. With the recent recognition of his abilities by Paul Scholes, a Manchester United legend who advised the Red Devils to snap up Ndidi, perhaps he could be the answer to Manchester United’s porous midfield troubles.

Advertisement

While he is not constantly in the news, it is hoped that a concrete move to a top European club for the tough-tackling midfielder struggling to leave the shackles of mid-team obscurity would materialise and propel his career to a place where his attributes would be better appreciated.

Jonathan Ledger can be reached via [email protected]



Views expressed by contributors are strictly personal and not of TheCable.

0 Comments

No Comments Yet!

There are no comments at the moment, do you want to add one?

Write a comment

Write a Comment