One of the academies longest serving members Trevor Peake announced his retirement earlier in the summer, and with him a massive gap will be there to fill. Steve Beaglehole, who is head of academy and development matters has again done a brilliant job and looks to move forward with excitement and power.
In recent weeks the young talent Dennis Gyamfi has seen the headlines in the tabloids, with his name mentioned in a possible move to Arsenal. Gyamfi (18) though, looks likely to join Rangers, with a clear view to first team opportunities under Steven Gerrard, something Leicester City couldn’t guarantee and new terms was never agreed.
Swedish goalkeeper Victor Johansson has also left Leicester City and out looking for a new club. The Swedish U.21 international had a number of good years in the U.23 set up, but at the age of 21 and with other young talents coming through been moved on to find space for others.
George Thomas is also among a group of academy and development squad players to leave and the Welsh internatinal who spent his time on loan at ADO Den Haag lately it will be new challenges somewhere else, yet to be confirmed.
Conor Tee, Ryan Loft, Justen Kranthove, Rhys Davies, Ed Elewa-Ikpakwu and Faiq Bolkiah are all out as well. To see the Irish attacking midfielder and previously winner of the U.18 player of the year award was a surprise to see on the list, but sometimes new challenges might be good for young players not able to make their breakthrough at Leicester City, which we all know is a very thin needly eye to get into.
Sam Hughes though will continue to play for Leicester City as he have signed a new deal with the club and the promising defender who this season has spent time on loan at League Two side Salford City was believed to have been on the released players list, but the 23 year old could be a surprise pick for Brendan Rodgers first team squad.
Tyrese Shade is an attacking prospect that also have developed during the current season and alongside George Hirst and Ali Reghba not to forget Joshua Eppiah you have some competition for the places up front, seeing the names of Ndukwu, Muskwee and midfielder Leshabela slightly fading as they might have to see possible loan moves as options to establish their next step in football.
The U.23’s had a great season on going when it all stopped being 2nd in the table only Chelsea above them. They also impressed in the PL international cup defeating The u.23’a of Dynamo Zagreb 2-1 with two goals from the highly talented Callum Wright.
The Polish U.19 international Jakub Stolarczyk was in goal that afternoon against the Croats, and his development might be a key reason for the releases of Viktor Johansson and Rhys Davies. With England U.18 goalkeeper Oliver Bosworth also on the books it looks as that position is well covered. You also have Danish U.21 international Daniel Iversen at the club, lately been out on loan at Rotherham United, so there are plenty of options.
There are so many exciting players in the youth set-up at Leicester City with of course Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall the one that looks close to a breakthrough. Just before his loan switch to Blackpool he was given his first team debut v. Brentford in the FA Cup, and after watching this player a number of times, really seeing a potential that hopefully will bloom next season.
Callum Wright, Tom Sams, Ethan Fitzhugh and Shane Flynn are also to watch, as they are taking steps to the next level. You can mention so many, and the names of Terel and Kian Pennant, Kasey McAteer and Will Russ are others to look up.
The U.18’s were also competing well in their League staying 4th when everything was stopped. But as we all know most of the youth team players must move on to continue to progress after they have reached a certain age.
But would rather see Brendan Rodgers filling the bench and squad with young talent than buying and paying big money to players hardly used. The balance is often difficult to find, but with respect for the job done in the academy at Leicester City more players should be given the chance to develope even after the age of 21 to 22, and hopefully playes such as Sam Hughes and Josh Knight are examples of that kind.
If you like to follow up on all those talents at Leicester City, the U.23’s and the U.18’s, you should look up our season update section.