The debut of Luke Thomas, only 19 years of age, makes me as a Leicester City fan full of promise and hope. The England U.19 international who has been playing regularly in the U.23 team took me and probably most fans with surprise.
With both Ben Chilwell and Christian Fuchs out injured and missing the rest of the season it will be two more games for Luke Thomas, with his debut yesterday who would doubt his inclusion for those two games coming up v. Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United.
Luke Thomas is a player that has gone a bit under the radar, despite being a regular in the U.23 set up he has not been talked about in the same words as other promising youngsters coming through, but the way he played against Sheffield Unied shows what a fantastic job that’s done in the acadamey at the club.
The job for Brendan Rodgers is to nurse forward talent and just keep the factory blooming and hopefully this could of course set great fuel to the rumour about Ben Chilwell leaving for Chelsea or Manchester United, but should not start up rumours about other left backs joining with such growing talent allready in place.
Leicester City are set to lose Dennis Gyamfa, a player that just like Luke Thomas has been able to train with the first team over the last months, but still the right back looks certain to leave, but again why do that, and hopefully he could change his mind and sign a new deal with the club.
TCF loves to see young players coming through as that is the reason why football is still alive, but of course having buying clubs are also important, but we would like to see Leicester City spending less money on fringe players, whith such a blooming academy. You have seen a debutant before, making great promise in the start, but also struggling to adapt over a longer period of time, so it can also turn in another direction.
Today players such as Hamza Choudhury, Ben Chilwell and Harvey Barnes all are examples of that academy structure and all of them growing into full Premier League players and to see Liverpool (Barnes)and Manchester United (Chilwell) hunting is of course a thrill.
We have talked about a lot of talents in the academy at the moment, with Luke Thomas of course one of those, and his progress is well overseen by the management and staff as they monitor the progression.
If you as a teenager manage to establish yourself in the Leicester City U.23 set up, you are most certainly also included at youth internatioal level, which is the case with Luke Thomas and several other players. Newly released George Thomas even managed to develope into a full international while playing in the U.23’s, so you can get to that level as well in such a set up.
Josh Knight and Darnel Johnson are two players that TCF would have imagined should have shined in the first team allready, but they have not been given a proper chance. Of course and rightly so, not all of those promising players are coming through and needs to move on to get a life in football, but would it be wise of Brendan Rodgers to start nursing forward even more talent instead of signing players from outside.
TCF is in favour of that happening, reducing wage bills heavilly, showing bold management decision making bringing talent on, and at the same time also not being affraid to sell players to the giants and collect to be able to progress again.
The new training facalities at Seagrave, close to Loughborough. could also see a big rise in getting more talents through. To have such great place to work from could also be a huge injection in the work and strategically see Leicester City as a club that can be the best place in England for developing.
From the early 60’s we all know how Frank McLintock, Peter Shilton and David Nish cemented their place in the Leicester City first team, coming in from other youth and schoolboy teams for free and moving on as record transfer sales.
Emile Heskey, Gary Lineker and Ben Chilwell (could be) are also growing examples of such great talent coming through, but funds from such sales should be wisely used, something that in the past cannot be said to have been happening all the time as a lot of money has been splashed out on risky projects, probably noticing that the club have a bit left to be 100% in recruitment from outside, though many moves have turned out brightly, thinking of Riyad Mahrez, Jamie Vardy, Wes Morgan, Danny Drinkwater and N’Golo Kantè among those.