Wilfred Ndidi is one of the Premier League’s best midfielders at Leicester City – but can Eboue Kouassi step into his shoes at Belgian champions Genk?
Celtic flop Eboue Kouassi is already turning heads at his new club with Genk director Dimitri de Conde drawing comparisons between the tough-tackling midfielder and former star Wilfred Ndidi.
Back in January 2017, the Belgian giants sold a young Nigerian to Leicester City for £15 million. Flash forward to the present day and Ndidi has become one of the most influential ball-winners in the entire Premier League.
While Fabinho and Jordan Henderson are the heartbeat of this record-breaking Liverpool side, Ndidi will surely be in the conversation when the time to pick the PFA Team of the Year arrives.
Speaking to TVL, as translated by Voetbal Nieuws, De Conde admitted that he wanted to sign Eboue as Ndidi’s immediate successor in 2017. But, three years on and via an ill-fated spell at Celtic, the former Krasnodar starlet has finally been unveiled at the Luminus Arena.
“Kouassi is a very talented player and we always wanted to get him as a replacement for Ndidi,” De Conde said. “He has had a fairly unfortunate course at Celtic.”
You can say that again. Celtic have hoped that they’d unearthed Scott Brown’s protégé when they snapped Eboue up for £3 million during Brendan Rodgers’s first season at the helm (BBC).
But the 22-year-old never managed to smooth out those rough edges, making just 12 Scottish Premiership appearances during two frustrating years in Glasgow. The arrival of the similarly tenacious Ismaila Soro last month hammered the final nail into his Celtic coffin.
Genk have an option to buy Eboue at the end of his loan spell and, should he succeed in rebuilding his reputation at the Jupiler League champions, an Ndidi-shaped void could finally be filled at the heart of their midfield.