Nigeria and Leicester City midfielder Wilfred Ndidi has been included in the list of the English Premier League’s young breakout stars of the 2016/2017 season.
The five-man list compiled by Sky Sports was released on Friday.
Other players included are Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus, Rob Holding of Arsenal, Sunderland keeper Jordan Pickford and Everton’s Tom Davies.
Sky Sports assessment of Ndidi’s performance following his move from Belgian top-flight club Genk reads: “N’Golo Kante’s departure left a gaping hole in Leicester’s midfield, but in Wilfred Ndidi they have unearthed a player capable of stepping into the void. The 20-year-old arrived from Genk as a relative unknown in January, but he soon started living up to his £15m price tag.”
“Ndidi was a key figure in the resurgence that lifted Leicester away from danger, offsetting Kante’s absence with energetic and combative performances at the heart of the team. Only Everton’s Idrissa Gueye has averaged more tackles per 90 minutes in the Premier League, and Ndidi also made an impact at the other end.
“He scored his first Premier League goal with a stunning long-range drive in a 2-0 win over Stoke in April, and he was on target again against West Brom earlier this month. Ndidi has already earned comparisons with Patrick Vieira. Leicester might face a fight to keep him at the club in the summer.”
On Tuesday, Ndidi was voted Leicester City’s Young Player of the Year, beating off competition from Ben Chilwell and Demarai Gray.
EPL Young Breakout Stars of the Season: (In no particular order)
Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester)
Gabriel Jesus (Man City)
Jordan Pickford (Sunderland)
Tom Davies (Everton)
Rob Holding (Arsenal)