Why fit-again Ndidi is a very important player for Leicester City – Rodgers

Wilfred Ndidi of Leicester CityMichael Regan/Getty Images

Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers has revealed the key role of defensive midfielder Wilfred Ndidi as they prepare to face Leeds United in a Premier League fixture on Sunday.

The 24-year-old Nigeria international last featured for the Foxes in the 2-2 draw against Burnley at King Power Stadium on September 25 where he picked up a hamstring injury that saw him stay out of action for 40 days.

He, however, returned to action on Thursday during Leicester’s Europa League 1-1 draw at home against Spartak Moscow as he was introduced with 35 minutes remaining.

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Ahead of the Foxes’ trip to face Leeds at Elland Road, Rodgers has expressed his delight at having the Super Eagle back in his squad adding his defensive solidity will be invaluable for City going forward.

"He’s very, very important for us, from a defensive perspective,” the Northern Irishman told the club’s official website. "He covers a lot of space.

"In those defensive moments, you need that player to get back in. He’s a very, very important player for us and it’s great to have him back.

“Hopefully the players who were out [on Thursday] should be back and available, Harvey [Barnes] and James Maddison. Obviously, Wilf Ndidi got some game time, which is great.

“Ricardo [Pereira] should be fine also, so we should get a few players back for the weekend.”

In a recent interview, Rodgers explained why his plans to introduce Ndidi for a few minutes against Arsenal in the 2-0 defeat backfired.

“He has just trained this week. He was to come on [in the last] fifteen to twenty minutes maximum, that was our plan [on Saturday],” Rodgers said.

“But obviously we were chasing the game so there wasn't that need to put him on. [But] it's great to have him back and available and we'll see how his fitness looks over the coming days.”

The return of Ndidi will be good news for Nigeria, who are pursuing the ticket to feature in the 2022 Fifa World Cup finals to be staged in Qatar.

The Super Eagles, who are topping Group C with nine points from four matches, have two matches remaining against Liberia and Cape Verde.

Nigeria under Gernot Rohr will face Liberia on November 13 at Stade Ibn Batouta before returning home to tackle Cape Verde on November 16 at Teslim Balogun Stadium.

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