The pre-season campaign started today with a draw after 90 minutes v. Burton Albion, new recruits were involved as well as players heavily linked away from the club. A surprising inclusion of Rachid Ghezzal who looks certain to leave for Besiktas or Galatasaray.
His performance against Burton didn’t really tell us anything about his fantastic season in Turkey as we all know he had, not really showing any confidence, and not putting on much of a show against a League One side, maybe putting on a Leicester shirt gave him bad memories and feelings.
Ayoze Perez was not in the squad and recent talks about him leaving the club with a possible move to Everton as an option. Perez (27) could see his chances limited with competition from Daka and a new flank midfielder, he looks down the pecking order and Brendan Rodgers might look at a chance to off load him and get in that hard needed cash.Embed from Getty Images
James Maddison started the game at Burton but his contribution was almost invisible and his mind might be elsewhere with a possible move to Arsenal in the air, and with talk going here and there and news flying out about him leaving the club, then staying with pundits and experts not believing Arsenal are able to fund a move for the England international.
Filip Benkovic (24) did play today and surprisingly not made his full senior league debut with this football club since joining from Dinamo Zagreb for a fee of £13million. On loan at Celtic he picked up three winner medals, and was under the wings of Brendan Rodgers, sadly he has not yet seen any use of Benkovic at present but if you look at the quality injury free he might be the best alternative as a cover defender in there, but not surprised if a new loan move appear.
Dennis Praet is linked with his former club Sampdoria, the problem is that few clubs in Europe will be able to pay both his current salary and a fee that is acceptable for Leicester to accept. He has also been linked with Arsenal, but with them signing up Emile Smith Rowe long term it will be a strange signing to make.Embed from Getty Images
Kamal Sowah is said to be part of the first team plans next season as a return to OH Leuven is said not to happen. Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall did play today as well and with a great loan season at Luton he can also be looking at a season staying at Leicester, but his name has also been seen as a possible loan target for other clubs, difficult to decide.
Today Brendan Rodgers used a four men defence again, and with a packed midfield and only on player on top, it was nothing much to analyse from. The fact that he changed it to a more four four two in the second shows that the unpredictable will be present also this season.
When you switch and change as much as Brendan Rodgers do, you are not able to find out how you cover for it all and how many defenders, midfielders and forwards are needed to just fit the system you prefer. Last season Leicester only had two top forwards available and no back up, but when that became a challenge the system was changed and it worked, but could also a be a key reason for falling out of the top four, since the home form at times was awful.Embed from Getty Images
We do believe that Brendan Rodgers would fancy a team with all of his best central defenders, Soyuncu, Fofana and Evans, but as we did see today with one of them absent, he changed the system instead of slotting in an alternative, which could have been both Benkovic or Amartey who were partners in second half instead.
At the moment there are now issue to find the flank alternatives with many options available, and to play with two men up front with Daka, Iheanacho and Vardy all good alternatives, you have something to chose from, but in a three men defence it’s sadly no place to Harvey Barnes as he is a typical player to use wide in a three men forward line. There are difficulties to see the pattern and how Brendan Rodgers would get his ideal and best set up.
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