The president of the Nigeria Football Federation, Amaju Pinnick, has identified Leicester City midfielder Wilfred Ndidi as the player that the Super Eagles missed the most during their lackluster 1-0 defeat to African champions Algeria on Friday.
The Nath Boys product was originally named to the roster for the two games in October but had to pull out of the squad due to a groin injury that required surgery.
Ndidi wasn’t the only central midfielder unavailable for selection, with Glasgow Rangers’ Joe Aribo and Stoke City loanee Oghenekaro Etebo also not involved against the North Africans due to injury, while Victor Osimhen was barred from reporting for international duty because the Napoli players were ordered into quarantine following three positive COVID-19 cases.
Of the aforementioned players, Ndidi is the one Pinnick felt could have changed the outcome of the game the most if he had featured.
Against Algeria, the Super Eagles’ holding midfielders were lacking experience as it was the first time West Brom’s Semi Ajayi and FC Midtjylland’s Frank Onyeka played that role for the national team.
“Nigeria Vs Algeria – Not a great game but indeed a great future, truly we missed the super, imposing and majestic presence of Aribo, Etebo, Osimhen especially Wilfred Ndidi. In God we trust,” Pinnick said on social media.
Ndidi has started 29 matches for the Super Eagles since making his senior debut in a 2-0 loss to Democratic Republic of Congo in October 2015.