Leicester confirm Wilfred N'Didi arrival

Leicester confirm Wilfred N'Didi arrival

Long-term Foxes target, Wilfred N'Didi's transfer from Genk to Leicester has been completed.

Ed Mackey

Leicester City have made the first move of all the Premier League teams in this January transfer window with the signing of Wilfred N'Didi from KRC Genk of the Belgian Pro League.

The 19-year-old made the switch for a fee in the region of £15 million, an amount that is already being questioned by pundits and fans. Genk fans and Belgian football enthusiasts have praised the Foxes' great business in signing the highly-rated youngster. 

At the age of 19, he has already earned five caps for the Nigeria national side after a brief spell in the under-20 side, spanning only seven appearances between 2013 and 2015. 

Whilst many Leicester fans are worried about the defensive midfielder missing the month of January through African Cup of Nations involvement, Nigeria failed to qualify for the finals and therefore after he is granted his work permit to play in England, he will be available for selection. This also means Ahmed Musa won't be going either, although, Riyad Mahrez and Islam Slimani (Algeria) and Daniel Amartey (Ghana) will be unavailable for the majority of January.

Can he fill the Kante void?

Many of the Foxes faithful hope to see N'Didi fill the considerably-sized hole left by the sale of N'Golo Kante to Chelsea. His stats so far this season in the Pro League and Europa League for Genk suggest that he may be very similar to the French workaholic, also showing he's capable of playing well in Europe, which may come in useful in the Foxes' Champions League adventure.

The signing of Nampalys Mendy in the summer was originally expected to be the replacement for Kante but a few below-par performances and a horrific run of injuries have shown otherwise.

With his best years certainly ahead of him, he's not expected to be instantly world-class although he has shown that he should be primed and ready for Premier League football. This brings risks, however, as Leicester fans have experienced in the past, as youngsters have reached their peak they have moved onto bigger things, most notably Kante's summer switch. 

After the worst first half of a title defence in the Premier League era, Claudio Ranieri will certainly hope his new £15 million player will have the desired effect on the rest of his squad in the second half of the season as they look to salvage a respectable league finish.