Former Manchester United and Chelsea full-back, and England international, Paul Parker, spoke with our team about Nigerian stars Alex Iwobi, Kelechi Iheanacho and Wilfred Ndidi.
Leicester City has two Nigerian players, who just got knocked out of AFCON, Kelechi Iheanacho and Wilfred Ndidi. What do you make of those two players, and does their return to Leicester make a big difference for them?
“(Kelechi) Iheanacho has been very in and out. I think he’s had his best 12 months for a long, long time. He was always on the periphery. He has done unbelievable things when he was at Manchester City. The problem is, he’s one of those players that when he starts, he struggles and he always gets taken off. And it seemed like at Manchester City, he was always going to be a ‘Super Sub’.”
“And he went to Leicester. And then he suddenly had this kind of thing when he played with Vardy, he seemed to score goals. He needed help. He couldn’t do it on his own. He needed someone to help him. But then that dried up and now they’ve got another one in Patson Daka, who has been a bit of a revelation, so Iheanacho has to get past him now to get a run in the team.”
“When you look at (Wilfred) Ndidi, he was the one I’d say they missed, even though when he was there, they were still very, very inconsistent. Everyone talks about Leicester, but you don’t know what you’re getting. Could they (Ihenaco and Ndidi returning) make a difference? They might. But I don’t know if they’ve been seriously missed.”
“Brendan Rodgers is a manager that for some unknown reason doesn’t enjoy continuity within a football team. He wants to keep messing about all the time, and that’s why Leicester got to a certain height when they won the FA Cup, and they haven’t really gone near that since.”
Alex Iwobi will be returning to Everton, who has sacked Rafa Benitez since he left for AFCON. What do you think about Iwobi and is he part of the foundation moving forward for Everton?
“He’s been poor for Everton. I think Ancelotti signed him. But when you look at Iwobi, he started off quite exciting at Arsenal. He gets that move, leaves Arsenal for 40 odd million, I’m sure. He goes to Everton.”
“If you’re really doing that well at Arsenal, things are going great. And you leave and go to Everton. Things aren’t really going that great in my opinion.”
“I don’t know why but it seemed a strange one to a lot of people. And he hasn’t gone out there and done it. No different to (Theo) Walcott up there as well, he is another one that left Arsenal.”
“Duncan Ferguson while he’s in temporary charge, and the way Duncan Ferguson was as a player I can’t see Iwobi getting into his team. I can’t. I look at it, and I think to myself, that they’ve got Demari Grey and they’ve got Andros Townsend, and he wouldn’t get in front of those two, and those two play either side really. And he’s not better than them. He hasn’t been better than them.“
“He is in the wilderness at the moment in time. And then it’s got to wait for another manager to come in, maybe. He’s got to make a decision about him, but he hasn’t shown enough under the two managers he has had so far at Everton. So, you know at the moment, he’s in turmoil. And he’s mostly wondering, you know, what’s going to happen to him. I’m quite sure in his own way he wants to come back to London.”