Manchester United have identified Wilfred Ndidi as Donny van de Beek’s replacement who seems Real Madrid-bound at the moment.
According to a report published by Daily Express, Manchester United are the latest club to shortlist Wilfred Ndidi on their transfer list as Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer looks to strengthen their midfield.
Ndidi joined Leicester City from KRC Genk in the winter of 2017 for £15.8 million pounds after the departure of N’golo Kante to Chelsea in the summer window of 2016. He immediately found his place in the Leicester starting lineup, starting all remaining Premier League and UEFA Champions League.
Over the last three seasons, the Nigerian footballer has established himself as one of the best players in his positions in the league as probably the finest tackler. According to Whoscored, Ndidi is second in the charts for tackles per game this season, was the highest last season, and second only to Idrissa Gana Gueye in 2017/18. He has averaged 4 tackles per game since his first full campaign in the Premier League.
Under Brendan Rodgers, the 23-year-old has also improved his passing range, taking it from 80% last season to 84% this season. He is indispensable for the Foxes, and their performance without him this year is proof of the same. Leicester failed to win four games on the bounce in February in the Premier League when Ndidi was sidelined due to a foot injury.
His tremendous performances this season has attracted suitors from across the continent, including the likes of Real Madrid, Paris Saint Germain and now Manchester United. However, Ndidi is second choice for Ole, whose eyes are fixated on Ajax Amsterdam’s Donny van de Beek. The Dutch might have become a priority signing for them, but they are likely to miss out on him with Real Madrid ready to offer him a contract.
Van de Beek is primarily an attacking midfielder but has played across the midfield three for Ajax, as a box-to-box midfielder, a deep-lying-playmaker or a traditional number 6. That said, he is not the player United need. Ndidi is.
The Red Devils have players in all positions where van de Beek can be deployed, especially after signing Bruno Fernandes from Sporting CP. The Portuguese has taken the PL by storm, winning the Player of the Month award in his first month with United, registering two goals and three assists.
They also boast of a certain Paul Pogba in the deep playmaker role, who can also play up the pitch or as a B2B. They do not, however, have a natural defensive midfielder among their ranks with the exception of Nemanja Matic.
Ndidi is the perfect man to fix United’s defensive woes and can push forward Ole’s project by several notches. He might, however, come with a heavy price tag; something similar to Harry Maguire. United might have to prioritise the signing of Jadon Sancho over Ndidi while waiting another season to find his ideal midfield.