Former Nigeria international midfielder Seyi Olofinjana believes Leicester City star Wilfred Ndidi is good enough to make the final three shortlist for the 2021 African Football of the Year Award.
Ndidi has been phenomenal for the Foxes so far this term despite injuries limiting his appearance to just 12 Premier League games out of 24 so far played by the club.
Without him, Leicester City have struggled in the Premier League, losing five of the 12 games he missed while with him marshalling the middle of the pack, Brendan Rodgers’ side have won nine, drawn two and lost just once-the 2-0 defeat to Everton at the King Power stadium last December.
Foxes gaffer, Rodgers described the Nigerian as one of the best midfielders in the Premier League after his man-of-the-match display in the 3-1 defeat of Liverpool last weekend.
“All the stats show you what a difference he makes for us. At the highest level you need players who can recover the ball, especially when you have talented players ahead and he is one of the best in the Premier League at that. He was colossal,” Rodgers said.
And olofinjana concurred.
“I think he should be one of the three (nominees for African player of the year for 2021).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,” Olofinjana told ESPN but feels the former RC Genk star will not be crowned Africa’s king of football.
“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 (Sadio) Manes and the (Mohammed) Salahs who are doing the business on the top end of the field, they will always get more recognition and accolades from the 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 guy play the 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].”