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Sports News of Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Source: The Nation

Olofinjana tips Ndidi for Africa’s Best Player

Impressed by his display in the colours of Leicester City this season, former Wolves and Super Eagles midfielder Seyi Olofinjana believes his compatriot should be in the mix for Africa’s top award.

“I think he should be one of the three,” Olofinjana told ESPN. “I don’t see why not. But again, it will take real football people to sort of look beyond the flashy goals, the flashy dribbles, assists, and so on.”

With competition from the likes of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, Olofinjana does not think that Wilfred Ndidi will win the award, but insists that he is one of the top three players on the continent.

“There’s more to football than just the flashy stuff,” he said. “Don’t get me wrong, those are the very important parts of the game.

“Talking about the Manes and the Salahs who are doing the business on the top end of the field, they will always get more recognition and accolades from them by the virtue of their position.

“But again, it takes somebody like Ndidi connecting a lot of these things from the back and making these guys play football and he has the statistics to back that up, that’s why we have to say come on, he deserves to be recognized for what he brings to the table.

“Can he win it at the moment? I don’t think so. People will always look at the likes of Mane and Salah playing for big clubs and scoring goals. But I think he should be one of the three [nominated].”

Olofinjana is pleased that there is more recognition for the midfielder now than there used to be, with Ndidi getting the accolades both at club and international level that eluded Olofinjana himself and the likes of Garba Lawal before him.

And he has no doubt about Ndidi being the best holding midfielder on the continent: “Without a shadow of a doubt. Who are the guys out there… maybe Thomas Partey who plays in that position at the moment, who has been in Europe longer than him? I think Ndidi is top 10, if not top five in the world.”

Since joining Leicester from Genk in 2017, Ndidi has not only slotted in seamlessly, but has become an integral part of the first team squad when he is fit and available.

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