Leicester had one eye on a central defender to bring in but nothing appeared in this January transfer window. Since Brendan Rodgers came in to take over from Claude Puel in February 2019 just a few weeks after Youri Tielemans had arrived on loan from Monaco, we have seen little or no activity of players coming in in the last two January windows.
There are not really made spaces to new signings in the squad, with the numbers filled up, and even keeping great players out to dry in the gym as we did see with Nampalys Mendy gambling his football future on a loan that fell through.
Ryan Bennett is the only January signing done by Brendan Rodgers so far. when he agreed to a loan move from Wolves. The option of doing the move permanent was not used. We did see new signings being done after Bennett, bringing in Timothy Castagne, Wesley Fofana and Cengiz Under on loan. This was good additions done and must say that what Brendan Rodgers has done in the transfer market so far is to a high standard, with Bertrand and Vestergaard as the only two who yet can be rated in that category.
After a grand round of rumours regarding Youri Tielemans and James Maddison both been said to leave the club in the summer, nothing happened and for the first time in years no big sale out of Leicester happened in a summer window. Patson Daka, Ryan Bertrand, Jannik Vestergaard, Bouba Soumare and Ademola Lookman all came in, but also shipping out Andy King, Matty James, Rachid Ghezzal, Dennis Praet on loan to Torino, Wes Morgan, Kamal Sowah and Christian Fuchs. In this recent January window Sam Hughes, Filip Benkovic and Ali Reghba are being shipped out. Good moves from the club and hopefully also for the players as they get their careers going at other places.
The problem for a football manager and of course also for Brendan Rodgers is to be able to have controll and the overview to pick and select what he feel is the best possible team to the games played and to have players injured is a nightmare and often a big reason for results not being as you would like them to be.
For a club like Leicester to be able to compete with the very best you cannot be without your best players and with a certain Jamie Vardy coming to an age where his fitness and injury problems will be questioned you need to decide what type of role he should play going forward.
Brendan Rodgers did last season have the perfect set up and had a blend that was almost perfect, this season bringing in Daka, Soumare, Bertrand, Vestergaard and Lookman, he has not really looked at this but just pushed players into a group that was close to perfect.
Schmeichel, Ward – Pereira, Castagne, Thomas, Justin, Fofana, Soyuncu, Amartey, Evans – Tielemans, Maddison, Ndidi, Praet, Choudhury, D-Hall, Mendy, Albrighton – Iheanacho, Vardy, Perez, Barnes
To add Daka, Soumare, Lookman, Bertrand and Vestergaard and of course having also Benkovic as an extra defender made this a large group and too many players to handle with all of them having certain thoughts about their role as you always have when you either is an established player or you come in as a new employee. This is basics and leavnig players out to dry in the sun or having too many on the treatment table will always give you problems and when people are unbalanced in life you will see strange things happening and injuries can happen when you are not in a place you believe you should.
So the key going forward is to have 22 players available for first team duties if you need more you do have to be sure that one or two from the development squad can slot in and you cannot just let your squad grow above 25 and just leave professional players in the stands without having proper options to play.
One key is to loan out players to get the group as perfect as you would like it to be, and when brining in new faces being able to either loan out others or just simply let them leave, you also need to have controll of the heads of all your players so you know that you are as much as possible in line with those expectations. As a manager your results depend on how you treat your players and how you make them better, and those basics are of coures easy to understand. You will always have one or two players not being 100% satisfied, but with more confused people around you are in trouble.
We all know all the errors being done in the past with a great number of signings as they are brought in on false expectations or is not really fitting the system or values of this football club.
We certainly hope that Brendan Rodgers will be able to fix this situation as the team today are still heavily depending on Kasper Schmeichel (35), Jonny Evans (34) and Jamie Vardy (35). The midfield area could in one or two seasons be the best in the trade but still Maddison (25), Ndidi (25) and Tielemans (24) are not at their best yet. Up front you only have Perez (28) at his best age, Daka and Iheancho are fantastic players but still not yet at their best age. Harvey Barnes also a bit too young to be trusted as the leader up front.
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