Wilfred Ndidi has played down comparisons to N’Golo Kante as he helps to repair the damage caused by the loss of the box-to-box midfielder at Leicester.
Leicester City are the current Premier League champions, but the £17 million midfielder arrived at a club in turmoil, with manager Claudio Ranieri sacked shortly after he arrived as they languished near the relegation zone.
Craig Shakespeare has steadied the ship while Ndidi has become a key cog in Leicester’s first team, with some commentators suggesting he plays a similar role at the France international, who moved to Chelsea from the King Power in the summer.
“No, I have never put myself in Kante’s shoes,” Ndidi said. “I didn’t look to play like him when I arrived. I just came here to play my own game. I just feel like a different player to him.
“He is a good player, he has proved that he’s great this season. With the support of others, you can do anything you want and you can do it here.”
Kante left Leicester for £32 million in the summer and he has since helped Chelsea to a 10-point lead at the top of the table, while Ndidi’s Leicester still need points to ensure survival.
Ndidi is seven-and-a-half inches taller and five years younger than Kante, but he does hold some similarities in his style of play, as he covers lots of ground for his team. And the pair has comparable personalities, with the Nigeria international being both modest and softly spoken. “My parents are very, very happy.
Although, my dad never wanted me to play football. He wanted me to go to school instead but I didn’t listen. I was always just playing football. When you are in the game, you have great opportunities so I don’t really try to look where I want to be. “