To see Leicester City’s treatment of Andy King is hard to take and difficult to understand. He is still very much a player in demand from an international point of view, being named in the recent Wales squad.
He is by far the most capped international (representing Leicester City) at the club, and still only 29 years of age, 47 so far for Wales, moving above John O’Neill, 39 (N Ireland) and Gordon Banks, 37 (England).
King joined Leicester City in 2004 from the Chelsea academy and made his first team debut v. Wolves in 2007 and since been a first team player at the club. He has often been overlooked by several of the managers at the club and in recent seasons only been seen as a squad member, but always reliable.
Andy King played his last two Premier League games from start in December last season. A great 4-1 win away against Southampton and a narrow 2-1 defeat to Watford. King played all 90 minutes against The Saints and at Vicarage Road, taken off after 84 minutes. Andy King made starts in the EFL Cup and the FA Cup. King started and played the full game in the quarter finals v. Man City, losing that battle 4-3 on penalties after the game with extra time ended 1-1. He also played the full game at Highbury against Fleetwood, ending 0-0.
Puel decided to let King leave, mostly because Adrien Silva was starting to find a form and getting a few games under his belt. King left and joined Swansea on loan. We all know what happened during February and March at Leicester City, more or less a bit of a collapse in the Premier League.
To rate and put players in front of each other is not easy but would like to tell Puel a story. Silva and Iborra are both the same age as King, and they are far from club legends. The two others are not important for the future of the club, and not really very much attached to the club at all, being at Leicester City only since last season.
Nampalys Mendy came from nowhere to slot into the midfield position beside Wilfred Ndidi, and surely King could be an alternative and should definitely be in a Premier League squad with such a group of players. To see the player that captained the team in pre-season to completely be dropped is a shame.
The way Leicester City are playing at the moment, with a young James Maddison in the role just behind the front man, is one that also King can cover, and no one better than him, could be an alternative during a long season, and a young Maddison might need a rest in a game or two, or just give King a chance to come in at the end of games.
King is known for scoring goals and great goals also from distance as we could see in his previous life at Leicester City. And to just axe a player who is very much in demand at full international level, playing for a nation that could reach the Euro’s in 2020, is surely a shame.
To be fair, the football club must honor players that are so loyal and is Leicester City through and through. When such a legend is competing and probably a better finisher and all round midfielder than the two others, then this is not the best way of handling the situation. The two others, Silva and Iborra, will if not playing regularly, soon starting to look for a move somewhere else. I am not sentimental in this matter and Andy King is a special man at the club and to see him treated this way is no fun. This is a team, player and club strategic error.
Andy King’s contract is running until the summer of 2020, and he is not the worst player in the World, and his importance at Leicester City is underrated. To have a loyal player in your squad is always important and one that can handle, as he has shown, to keep his head down when being placed on the bench or even not being included in the team squad.
Claude Puel must do as he wishes, and the team works well without Andy King, but when and if injuries occur King is the perfect man to call on, because as you can see on previous stats, the team works well with him in there.
With three alternative right backs named among the 25 players, surely would have dropped Daniel Amartey and given one of the numbers to Andy King.
Daniel Amartey, Adrien Silva and Vicente Iborra will most certainly be sold in the next window or next summer. All players are eager to play and if they can’t get games they will seek a move away, King will not. Age is not a talking point, since 30 is no age in todays life of football. Experience and club loyalty is underrated by fans, club officials and managers, but they will all in the end find out that this is one of the most important things in football and when you judge players you should of course think about that, if the difference between them all are small and minor.
Tcf knows that Andy King will keep his fighting spirit and hopefully we have not seen the last of “Kingy”. He could be given a chance in the EFL Cup and later in the FA Cup if that is possible. Those who just talk about him being too old, or over his best times, hopefully will swallow their words big time, soon.
Andy King in action,