The Nigeria international admits that there has been a massive improvement in his game but acknowledges the impact that his club manager has had on his progress.
Wilfred Ndidi is widely regarded as one of the world’s best midfielders, and the 23-year-old has directed all the credit to Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers.
The former Racing Genk ace arrived the King Power Stadium in January 2017 as a little known defensive midfielder signed to replace fans favourite N’golo Kante.
The Frenchman was crucial to Leicester City’s magical title triumph in 2016, and finding an able replacement was not expected to be swift nor easy.
Nevertheless, the Foxes brought in Ndidi, and it didn’t take long before he earned everyone’s trust. From Claudio Ranieri, the manager who convinced him to join the Foxes, to Claude Puel, to Brendan Rodgers, Ndidi has always adapted to the demands of his coaches.
But it is the former Liverpool manager who has been able to get the best out of the Nigerian by encouraging him to be positive in his play.
“I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again, what I know now, if I’d have known it when I was growing up, I’d have been a better player,” said the 23-year-old according to quotes obtained from The Leicester Mercury.
“I’m grateful to the manager for everything he’s installed in us.
“My understanding of the game is much better now. I see the game differently to what I used to. I learned from other managers as well, so no disrespect to them, but this manager has made me understand more about the game, like the space available on the pitch.
“I feel like I’ve really improved since I first joined Leicester.
“[Rodgers has given me] the belief and understanding. That makes it easier when you find yourself in situations on the pitch.
“When I came to Leicester, I didn’t have much of the ball, but now I find myself in situations where I have more time with the ball. That comes from the teaching and the understanding that the manager has given us.
“He’s made me understand the role I play, and now it’s a case of developing from there.”
Ndidi is currently rated as Nigeria’s most valuable player with a market value of €45.00m. The Super Eagles star is also one of the most valuable defensive midfielders in the world, sitting in tenth place.