After every season you will get a list of released players, as clubs prepare for new life and we have seen over the years how certain players of grand potential just fades away into the shadows of football.
Khanya Leshabela (23) was one labeled “talent of special quality” brought to Leicester as a 13 year old, being capped at U.20 level for South Africa and out on various loan spells, before being released this summer. He is now back were he grew up in Northampton having trials with The Cobblers.
Darnell Johnson (24) joined Leicester at a young age and turned professional in 2018, playing steady in the development set-up at the club and also seen in the first team squad at times, as well as getting minutes in first team pre-season friendlies. He was England capped at all levels from U.16 to U.20, but just faded and after being released in 2021, moving to Fleetwood. He had a number of loan spells with little or no luck at Hibs, Wimbledon and Wigan during his days at Leicester, and this summer reported to be on trials with Forest Green Rovers.
Joe Dodoo, is another, having a pre-season camp by himself, and at the age of 28, hoping for a chance to play on, after being released by Burton Albion after last season. The former England U.18 forward, scoring a hat trick on his first team debut at Leicester, made a move to Scotland and Rangers in the summer of 2016, after that 5000/1 season, playing 1 league game and 3 league cup games that season, scoring 4 goals.
Danny Drinkwater is also out seeking for a new opportunity having a new haircut, but hopefully taking the rest off as he prepare his comeback in football. The once £35million player is still not more than 33 years of age, and was last seen in action for Reading in The Championship, playing 33 league games and scoring 1 goal. Strangely not being able to make a move last summer and been out of action since.
Liam Moore is back at Leicester, to train with the development squad, as he also are seeking new opportunities, but just weeks before the season starts, not yet made a move anywhere, but hopefully he will be open to a move at any professional level, possibly able to deliver a steady defenders job at the age of 30.
Ryan Bertrand (33) has not yet been seen anywhere, but an article in The Sun, focusing on his on going business outside football, suggests that the free agent could still have a future under Enzo Maresca, but that looks more or less totally unlikely with all the different alternatives to turn to in his preferred left back position. He has since joining Leicester in 2021 struggled with different injuries, and probably could be close to the finishing line and focus on other priorities.
Thanawat Suengchitthawon who was on the Leicester released list is back in Thailand and will next season be playing for Muangthong United. The Thai full international wiht 9 caps to his name, has earlier been capped at French U.16 and U.17 level, so talent was no issue, still he was far from getting a fair chance at Leicester, getting games in pre-season and being named on the bench in Premier League vs. Man City back in April 2021.
Back in 2017, Terell Pennant was seen as the hottest prospect in England. Being eyed by Arsenal, but a move never happened and his progress must have slowed down as the club surprisingly released the 20 year old. He played a total of 113 games for the U.18 and development team during his days at the club. He scored 21 goals and gave 11 assist, but never really had any hope of breaking into the first team squad, not being spotted by Brendan Rodgers, being the Leicester manager during most of his time with Leicester.
George Taft left Leicester in 2014 and as youngster playing for England U.18 and U.19. He left to join Burton and from there later having spells at Mansfield, Cambridge, Bolton and Scunthorpe, and at 29 years of age being a player in the 5th tier, experiencing the drop to the 6th as he now seeks new opportunities in the game.
The up’s and down’s in football are many as players of high profile and with massive potential in some way vanish or just fade out of the limelight in mysterious ways.
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