Former Super Eagles striker, Etim Esin, has described the move by Super Eagles’ midfielder, Wilfred Ndidi, to Leicester City, as a right step in the right direction. But Esin has urged Ndidi to justify the confidence Coach Claudio Ranieri reposed in him.
Ndidi signed a five-and-half-year deal worth £15 million plus a further three million of potential add-ons from the Belgian side, Racing Genk, on Tuesday. This, however, is subject to a work permit being granted.
Coach Ranieri had seen the Nigerian star, as the player to replace French midfielder, N’Golo Kante, who moved to current League leader, Chelsea. Ndidi is expected to join Nigeria’s forward, Ahmed Musa at the club.
Speaking with The Guardian yesterday, Esin said Ndidi would have Musa to guide him in the team, so also two other African players, Algeria’s Riyad Mahrez and Islam Slimani. The Algerians are currently with their country in Gabon preparing for Gabon 2017 AFCON.
“It is not about the coach seeing Ndidi as the one to replace Kante, but he has to prove himself as the man to take over from French man,” Esin said. “But we should also understand that this is English Premiership not Belgian league.
“There is no way you will compare the Belgian league with a tougher Premier League. But I still think this is an opportunity for him to prove his worth and break into the team,” he said.
Speaking further on what Ndidi’s move to Premier League portends for the Super Eagles, Esin, a former Belgian Lokeren and Lierse SK midfielder said that already Coach Gernot Rohr had a winning team, which cannot be changed overnight as a result of one player moving to a bigger club.
“No coach wants to change a winning team. Coach Rohr won both at home and away and this has been a big plus for him. For Ndidi to break into the main stream of the Super Eagles, he has to justify it,” Esin concluded.