Rodgers: Why Ndidi can play at centre-back in Leicester City opener against West Brom

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Wilfred Ndidi of Leicester City & Crystal Palace's Jordan Ayew, 2019-20
Adrian Dennis/Pool via Getty Images
The Super Eagles star might play in an unfamiliar role with the Foxes battling injury problems ahead of their league trip to the Hawthorns on Sunday

Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers is confident Wilfred Ndidi will deliver a top-notch performance if he plays as a centre-back in their Premier League opening fixture against West Bromwich Albion.

With John Evans suspended, the Foxes are hit with injury problems as Wes Morgan and Filip Benkovic remain unfit for the trip to the Hawthorns.

Ndidi is being considered as an available option that could partner Caglar Soyuncu at the centre of the defence.

The Nigeria international who is dominantly a defensive midfielder, played as a centre-back for 60 minutes in Leicester City’s last friendly outing against Blackburn Rovers.

When quizzed about his defensive selection for Sunday’s game against the Baggies, Rodgers lamented the lack of options at the back but he is positive about the team’s adaptability.

“We’ve been unfortunate really. We have to find a solution,” Rodgers was quoted as saying by Leicester Mercury.

“There’s absolutely no doubt we don't want to be in this position, that’s for sure, where we have only one defined centre-half available.

“I’ve got players who are multi-functional and who have played there before. We’ve been looking at some of the dynamics of that over the course of this last week.

“It’s been unfortunate that a few of those guys have picked up injuries, but we know it’s an area that we’re going to have to bring someone in.

“Whichever team we put out, I trust all of the players that go in, if they need to go in.”

Before his move to England in January 2017, Ndidi played as a centre-back during his Genk career and Rodgers thinks he can still deliver ‘a good job’ in that role.

The 23-year-old was rated as one of the top tacklers in the last two Premier League seasons.

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“(If Ndidi plays there) it will most definitely be (only temporary). He’s one of the best midfielders in the Premier League. That is his best position,” the manager continued.

“But I do like a midfield player who has that adaptability to play in a back four or a back three. He played very well in the game for 60 minutes, and it is a position he’s played in at Genk.

“There’s a lot of the attributes there that are natural (to him). He’s good in the air, he’s got speed, he can pass the ball, and his reading of the game is very good. I’ve got no doubt that if he needs to play there, he’ll do a good job.”

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