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Nice: Ndayishimiye's impressive strides

Nice: Ndayishimiye's impressive strides

Burundi's Youssouf Ndayishimiye has been a force to be reckoned with since his arrival at Nice. After a remarkable half-season last year, he has further raised his game under Francesco Farioli. His versatility, rapid adaptation and intelligent play are his greatest assets.


Youssouf Ndayishimye has put everyone in agreement at Nice

Youssouf Ndayishimiye has become an indispensable part of Nice's squad thanks to his essential hybrid role in Francesco Farioli's system, between sentinel and central defender depending on the situation. Indeed, his coach underlines the importance of the Burundian, who has played in all the matches he has started (11). "He's a player we all appreciate for his physical impact, his balance and the quality he brings us with the ball."

The former Istanbul Basaksehir player is also enjoying his role as a hybrid player. "It was easy for me to adapt, as I played in the same system in Turkey," he says. Ndayishimiye doesn't mind the criticism that his and the team's style of play isn't too appealing. But in their defense, he is devilishly effective. This is borne out by Nice's ranking (2nd, 29 pts) and, above all, the number of goals conceded (4 in 13 games), making them the tightest defense in Ligue 1. Ndayishimiye has played a significant role in the team's defensive solidity.

"He's sometimes criticized, but it always works. I'm never bored on the pitch. We try to play forward, we create chances, we're not just there to defend. If you attack well but defend badly, it becomes a problem (...) I have the right to project myself into the box, there's no limit," the player defends himself against his critics.

Youssouf Ndayishimiye's areas for improvement

The player who was recruited for 12 million euros and is now valued at 15 million euros by Transfertmarkt has a few areas for improvement inherent to the areas he covers on the pitch. "As a central defender, he was used to looking at the game in front of him. Playing a little higher up, as a number 6, he needs to adapt the orientation of his body and shoulders to perceive the pitch from a different angle, to be more mobile to play forward more easily", Farioli points out.

Another thing that Youssouf Ndayishimiye, who narrowly missed out on qualification for the AFCON 2023 with Burundi, could erase from his game is his overly rough nature, which often exposes him to cards. In fact, he returns to Ligue 1 this 14th matchday against Nantes (at La Beaujoire, this Saturday at 8pm GMT) from a suspension he picked up against Rennes. As a result, he missed Nice's last 2 matches."It happens sometimes to overstep the mark, but Youssouf knows he made a mistake. He apologized to me and to his team-mates, aware that he had let them down by his excessive commitment", noted his coach.

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