After a visit to Leicester in December, were TCF had the pleasure of watching the U.19’s in a game against Tottenham, you always are curious about how the youngsters are doing, which players are coming through and if some of them will make it further.
Been at the training ground and watched a number of players in previous years out here and to see Andy King, Ben Chilwell and several others getting their chance is great after seen them play at Belvoir Drive many times.
In recent years we have seen the likes of Ben Chilwell, Josh Knight, Hamza Choudhury and George Thomas all getting a chance, but very few players are likely to make it to the first team as they prepare of life in football.
Recent results for the U.23’s has not gone as planned and would describe the situation as a bit like crisis as no games have been won in the last months. A 3-1 home win against Feyenoord back in January is the last to one, with two goals scored by Admiral Muskwe and one coming from Josh Knight.
As we all know Callum Elder and Josh Knight both left Leicester City in January, to join Ipswich and Peterborough on loan, and without those two in the team it’s been a great struggle.
A disastrous 7-1 loss to Blackburn Rovers back in early February started the rot and since then only two draws are picked up from the last 10 games, both coming in cup competitions, away to Exeter and home to Bayern Munich.
The Premier League international cup game was lost on penalties to Bayern, so that one also ended in a defeat. The U.23’s will finish their season on the 24th of April in a last event away to Arsenal, hopefully getting something out of that one after another disastrous result in the most recent game v. Liverpool losing 6-0.
The U.23’s had a good start to the season and rescued their place in the top flight, picking up 27 points, and they cannot go down with West Ham and Swansea too far behind in the table.
There’s been a lot of changes in the U.23 set up with a number of new and younger players coming in for the 2nd half of the season. Viktor Johansson in goal, Alexandru Pascanu in defense and Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall in midfield are three players who have been more or less the backbone of the team, with youngster Callum Wright probably the most exciting young prospect in the group.
For the U.18’s it’s been more or less the same scenario, and not really a positive sign to see so many games lost. In 2019 everything started perfectly with three wins in January against Reading, Bolton and Crewe. But since then only two wins in nine.
Two heavy defeats against West Ham and Arsenal are among those. The two wins are against Swansea and in the last game played at home to Norwich, but games won 3-1. Leicester U.18’s will finish the season on the 27th of April away to Tottenham. They are currently in 8th position and with Swansea and Norwich so far behind, they looks as if they will finish mid table.
Despite a lack of good results in the last part of the season, and struggling against the best teams in the league, you have a number of players that are showing good signs. A group of foreigners are making their mark. Dutch defender Kranthove, Polish goalkeeper Stolarczyk, Czech defender Husek and Portuguese midfielder Tavares are all young players coming from abroad and now at the age of 18 and 17 knocking on the door to play in the U.23’s, which is exciting.
The U.18’s could be much stronger next season with a number of players who have played this season still around, due to their young age, and that could improve results. Would like to highlight a few of those. Irish winger Shane Flynn is one to watch, pace and good dribling skills. Will Russ should not either be faulted, the Welsh youngster still only 16 has already made a lot of appearances and scored five goals in his U.18 games.
We wish them all good luck in their progress and hopefully results will improve with good training in pre-season and one more year of progression.
You can follow up on all of the U.18 and U.23 activity from our stats, fixture and table site, always updated and full of good information.