Super Eagles star Wilfred Ndidi barely made a mark in Leicester’s 2-1 loss to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, as he was made to start the game from the bench.
Under-fire Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers opted to start Boubacar Soumare in the defensive midfield position instead of first-choice Ndidi. A decision many found amusing, given that Soumare did not really exert the kind of dominance that the Nigerian is known for.
In his post-match thoughts, Rodgers explained his decision, saying they wanted to be quicker in the attacking third of the game and needed a player could give them that option.
He said Soumare was quicker in the third and he has trained well.
“We wanted to come through the pitch quicker. Soumare has been great in training and he’s committed now to staying at the club, which is great,” he told the BBC.
“He (Soumare) allows us to play through the thirds quickly and that was the reason for him coming in instead.”
“We should’ve at least had a point in the game. We started well and had a man sent off. It was a game of decisive moments.
“We gave away the first goal which really makes it tough for you when you’re playing against 10 men and then we gave away the second.”
Leicester, who are yet to make any many major signings this summer, have had a terrible start to the season, without a win out of four and with two draws already.
Ndidi has been one of the usual members of the starting eleven under Rodgers, but the side’s recent dip in form may have informed the manager’s decision to tweak a few things at the club. With the defeat, it is expected that the Nigerian will return to the first XI in the next game.
Meanwhile, Kelechi Iheanacho was later introduced in the 55th minute in place of Soumare as Leicester chased the game.
The Foxes will host rejuvenated Manchester United in their next game at the King Power Stadium on September 1.
This article was most recently revised and updated 1 month ago