20 April 2019
Brendan Rodgers says Wilfred Ndidi is the sniffer dog operating in the shadows of Leicester’s big name stars.
While the likes of Jamie Vardy, Harry Maguire and James Maddison hog the headlines, Rodgers says Nigerian international Ndidi is a man he could build a team around.
The 22-year-old is starting to look a bargain at the £14m The Foxes forked out for him from Belgian outfit Genk.
Leicester’s boss says while Ndidi’s role role might go unnoticed by some, he’s valued by those who play alongside him.
Rodgers said: “He’s been very impressive. He covers the ground so fast. His anticipation is very good and he reads the game.
“He smells the danger, and then for Youri Tielemans and James and for other attacking midfield players, to have that type of player in there it’s very important.
“I always have that sort of player – a clear, controlling player in the game. Sometimes they’re a defensive type like him that can really press the game and play simple, or sometimes it’s a more creative player, a playmaker from behind.”
Rodgers adds: “He’s got so much talent. Looking at his numbers he’s up there with having played the most games this season, with Kasper Schmeichel.
“All we try to do is make it clear what his function is in the team. It’s a job that may seem a simple job but he does it so effectively.
“He has to win the ball and give it, simple as that. I tell him he doesn’t need to be in the box shooting, that’s not his job.
“Just look after the other two boys in front of you, and just control the space in front of the centre-halves and he does that so, so well.
“We’re trying to improve him in that position because you’re going to be on the ball a lot. You’ve got to serve it, serve it over 10 or 15 metres.”
By David Armitage. This piece first appeared in the Daily Star.