The transfer window albeit a short one is upon us from the 1st of January 2020 so it’s, therefore, no surprise that the rumour mill has suddenly gone into a bit of overdrive. From an Arsenal and a Nigerian perspective, Leicester City’s mercurial midfielder Wilfred Ndidi finds himself in what could be an uncomfortable thrust that places him slap-bang (as the Americans would say) in the glare of the transfer spotlight as talk about him joining the Gunners is beginning to gain traction in the British dailies.
Ndidi who joined Leicester City from the Belgian side Genk as a direct replacement for the departing N’golo Kante has seen his stock rise over the last couple of years after his initial struggles to adapt to the harum-scarum of the Premier League. The unheralded and modest Nigerian has made more tackles and more interceptions than any player in Europe’s top leagues this season and is without a doubt one of the main reasons why Leicester City are second on the Premier league table just behind leaders Liverpool who are ten points clear at the time of writing this piece.
The suggestion that Arsenal are interested in the midfielder (especially at a time when captain Granit Xhaka is rumoured to be seeking greener pastures) would not have escaped his handlers at Leicester City who I imagine would be keen to keep him at the East Midlands club but they’d also be acutely aware that in football, money is everything and should the London giants come up with an offer that dwarfs the £15m they paid for him in 2017, then the lad is as good as gone.
The question, however, would be whether Arsenal will be willing to pay over the odds for a player they could buy for less in the summer. The January transfer window has always been seen to be notoriously difficult to buy players and rightly so because most teams are reluctant to sell at a time when they should be fortifying for a final push to the end of the season. Perhaps even more pertinent, is the fact that Leicester at the moment are flying high and short on replacements for a player like Ndidi who is only in the middle of the first year of a six-year contract he signed recently.
It’s not hard to imagine that the player will, of course, be flattered by the interest from the London giants and may even be tempted by the allure of playing under new manager Mikel Arteta who has been heralded as one of the most astute young minds in the game but should he even consider taking the gamble of going to a side that is quite frankly at the moment in a state of rut? Arteta, despite having learned a great deal as assistant to the great Guardiola, is still untested at the highest level and things may still go awry for the affable Spaniard in his second coming to the club. If Ndidi does indeed decide to jump ship to the Gunners, it will, of course, mean more money for him and his family as well as give him the chance to showcase his talents in Europe but would it translate to winning trophies or making him a better player than he is at the moment under the tutelage of Brendan Rodgers?
Arsenal may yet turn their fortunes around and Ndidi definitely deserves a crack at playing for a sleeping giant that is yet again in the nascent stages of a rebuild. He is, however, in a good place already. So the question is…should he even consider Arsenal if they come knocking?