Leicester City’s Wilfred Ndidi, who had participated in fifteen consecutive matches for the team, found himself excluded from the matchday squad in the recent Championship clash against Sunderland at the King Power Stadium, a decision made by manager Enzo Maresca.
Leading up to the game against Sunderland, the Nigerian national team player had featured in twelve Championship matches and three League Cup fixtures, with ten of those appearances as part of the starting lineup. Ndidi’s streak of games came to an end following his participation in Nigeria’s 2-2 draw with Saudi Arabia on October 13, bringing his total games for the season to sixteen.
According to information obtained by Allnigeriasoccer.com, Enzo Maresca chose to provide Ndidi with some rest in preparation for upcoming matches. Consequently, Chelsea loanee Cesare Casadei took his place in the starting lineup.
Casadei, the recipient of the 2023 FIFA U20 World Cup Golden Ball, has encountered challenges in securing a spot in Leicester City’s starting lineup since joining on loan, making just two starts out of ten opportunities prior to the match against Sunderland. This limited involvement was largely attributed to the exceptional form of Ndidi.
Leicester City has benefited from Ndidi’s adaptation to a more advanced role in midfield, with the Nigerian contributing to seven goals (3 goals and 4 assists) – an achievement he had not previously reached in a single season prior to the 2023-2024 campaign.
In a separate development, Ndidi’s compatriot Kelechi Iheanacho, who had suffered an injury scare during the closing moments of the 3-1 victory against Swansea City the previous weekend, was included in the starting lineup for Leicester City. The Super Eagles striker is aiming to extend his scoring streak to five goals in the Championship.