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Soccer News of Friday, 6 January 2023


'2022 was not a good year for him' - Former Ajax winger backs Ndidi to rediscover best form

Leicester City midfielder, Wilfred Ndidi Leicester City midfielder, Wilfred Ndidi

The Nigeria international was widely considered to be one of the best players in his position in the not-too-distant past

Former Ajax Amsterdam winger Tijani Babangida admits that Leicester City midfielder Wilfred Ndidi struggled with injury and poor form during the past year 2022.

A force of nature in the centre of the pack, Wilfred Ndidi’s dominant displays for Leicester City and the Super Eagles saw him recognised as one of the best defensive midfielders in the world.

But the 2021/2022 season was not the best of period for the former Genk midfield dynamo as injury limited his contributions for club and country.

Ndidi suffered a hamstring injury in September 2021 that kept him out of action for over a month. A knee injury that he cupped in March side-lined him for nearly four months, effectively ending his season prematurely.

The 26-year-old has had to deal with a hamstring problem and a thigh muscle strain already this term which has reduced his involvement at Leicester to a bit part role.

Ndidi has only made nine starts for the Foxes, while his second-half introduction in Leicester’s disappointing home loss to Fulham on Tuesday was his fourth appearance from the bench in this campaign.

Manager Brendan Rodgers has shown more trust in French midfielder Boubakary Soumaré, who has 12 league starts for the Foxes.

But Babangida, 1996 Olympic Games gold medalist, is backing Ndidi to put his injury-plaqued past behind him and get back to dominating the centre of the park for Leicester City.

“2022 was not really a good one for Ndidi considering the fact that he was plaque by injury,” Babangida told Complete Sports.

“However, I pray he keeps fit this time around in order to maintain his regular form in Leicester City.

“He is a fighter and will definitely get back to his best.”

Wilfred Ndidi joined Leicester City from Genk for €17.6 million but has risen in profile to become Nigeria’s second most valuable player behind Napoli’s Victor Osimhen.