Wilfred Ndidi 'Flattered' by Manchester United Rumours, Focused on Leicester

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistJune 16, 2019

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 12: Wilfred Ndidi of Leicester City during the Premier League match between Leicester City and Chelsea FC at The King Power Stadium on May 12, 2019 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images)
James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

Leicester City midfielder Wilfred Ndidi is "flattered" to be linked with some of the biggest clubs in English football.

Since moving to the Foxes in 2017, the Nigeria international has excelled, developing into one of the best holding midfielders in the Premier League.

Speaking ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations, Ndidi said it's good to be associated with elite sides, but there's no desire on his part to leave the King Power Stadium, per Mahmoud Diaa of Goal:

"I am flattered when hearing such a thing. It is very good to hear about that interest from big clubs, but there is nothing on the ground so I won't care about it. 

"I am focusing on AFCON with Nigeria now, and then pre-season with Leicester City. We have a great manager with ambition to compete with big clubs in the Premier League."

As Diaa noted, the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool have been tipped as suitors for the 22-year-old.

Ndidi is at the heart of Leicester team expected to perform well in the Premier League next term. James Robson of the Evening Standard thinks they will enjoy a strong campaign if they manage to hold on to their key players:

James Robson @jamesrobsonES

Watch out for Leicester next season IF they keep this squad together. And that is a big if

Speculation is rife about a number of stars. According to Sky Sports News, both Manchester United and Manchester City are interested in centre-back Harry Maguire. Sam Lee of Goal reported that left-back Ben Chilwell has been on City's radar too.

Meanwhile, United are said to also hold an interest in James Maddison, with Jack Pitt-Brooke of the Independent reporting the Red Devils are in "pole position" to sign the playmaker in a possible £60 million deal.

Keeping all of these exciting prospects, including Ndidi, at the club will be a challenge for Rodgers. Per WhoScored.com, the midfielder is excellent at shutting down opposition attacks:

WhoScored.com @WhoScored

Idrissa Gueye: Only Wilfred Ndidi (143) made more tackles than @IGanaGueye (142) in the Premier League last season For more player stats -- https://t.co/qDdxiHQmHP https://t.co/fWBpx998QM

While he is exceptional in his work out of possession, Scouted Football suggested there are areas the Nigerian must improve if he is going to make the step up:

Scouted Football @ScoutedFtbl

For as long as Wilfred Ndidi remains so cumbersome in possession, this - mid-table Premier League - is his ceiling. His pass selection is simple, but it isn't mitigated by an ability to pass quickly. His sequences of collecting and moving the ball are too slow and uncoordinated.

For teams of the calibre of those linked with Ndidi, composure on the ball will be key, as their managers place more of a demand on using possession wisely. It will be intriguing to see whether Ndidi can make strides in this area under Rodgers, a coach renowned for his possession-based play.

With that in mind, having another season at least at Leicester would be smart. Given those deficiencies in his passing play, elite clubs may also be hesitant about shelling out the kind of money the Foxes would demand for the player's services.


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