Why I’ll pick Ndidi over Mikel as a defensive midfielder

Why I'll pick Ndidi over Mikel as a defensive midfielder

Former Super Eagles coach has weighed in on the light debate on who’s the better defensive midfielder between Mikel Obi and Wilfred Ndidi

Sunday Oliseh has said he never saw Mikel as an offensive midfielder despite the player catching the eye in an advanced role at the 2005 World Youth Championship.

Oliseh, speaking on the Athlst Podcast, Special Delivery with Emmanuel Babayaro and Matthew Edafe said Mikel is a good player and did well at Chelsea but he’d pick Ndidi over him in the holding midfield position.

When asked on what he thinks of Mikel as a player by Edafe, Oliseh said;

“He’s a player who’s done some good with Chelsea. But when you talk about playing as an offensive midfielder, he’s not an offensive midfielder. My man here knows I’m blunt to say certain things. Offensive midfielders have certain qualities and he doesn’t have any of them. As regards as a defensive midfielder, I think he’s useful but I won’t play him. I’ll play Ndidi because a defensive midfielder’s work is you have to win balls without making fouls, you have to be very good in aerial balls. You have to have some control by helping others.

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“When I coached the Super Eagles, I invited the man. There were lots of controversies. When you’re someone that’s principled, instead of saying that’s your decision, they try to link it to controversies. I invited the man to play with the Super Eagles. He didn’t want to play. I was like, okay, we’ll find another option.”

Oliseh further harped on his point and stated the reason he may be perceptively seen as arrogant by the Nigerian press.

“I’ll prefer to play Ndidi,” he concluded.

Oliseh, however rated Chelsea’s Ngolo Kante over Ndidi as the best defensive midfielder in the world. He said the Frenchman has some specific qualities that are the most important for a player in that position.

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