As Burnley ahead Matej Vydra turned the Leicester defence this manner and that, a person who would have stopped him with little fuss was watching from the West Stand at King Energy Stadium, patiently signing autographs and posing for selfies.
Signed for £32million in summer season 2020, Fofana fractured his fibula and broken ankle ligaments throughout a pre-season pleasant in opposition to Villarreal and won’t play a major half on this marketing campaign.
The influence of the absence of Wesley Fofana on Leicester this season can’t be overstated
If Fofana had stayed match and progressed on the similar price as final season, Leicester would most likely have been supplied extra for him subsequent summer season than the £80m Manchester United paid for Harry Maguire two years in the past.
Throw within the accidents to Jonny Evans, who has an ongoing foot downside, and James Justin, who broken cruciate knee ligaments final February, and it’s straightforward to see why Leicester have conceded 12 objectives within the league this season. Solely Leeds, Newcastle and Norwich have let in additional.
If Vydra (9 objectives in 90 league video games), may cause Leicester hassle, what may Cristiano Ronaldo do when Manchester United arrive on Friday?
Boss Brendan Rodgers has constructed one of many most interesting groups in Leicester’s historical past since taking cost from Claude Puel in February 2019. They received the FA Cup for the primary time final season and completed fifth in each the supervisor’s two full seasons, additionally successful the Neighborhood Protect this 12 months.
James Justin (left) and Jonny Evans (proper) are additionally struggling with their very own accidents
Jannik Vestergaard (left), a £15million summer season signing from Southampton, has struggled – his lack of tempo uncovered by counter-attacking groups
But sorting the defence is a precedence for Rodgers. After Leicester had thrown away a two-goal lead to attract 2-2 at Crystal Palace, it was instructive to listen to Rodgers say he’d had little confidence they’d hold their lead.
Alternating between a again three and a again 4, the Foxes haven’t stored a clear sheet within the league since their 1-0 win over Wolves on the opening day of the season.
Jannik Vestergaard, a £15m summer season signing from Southampton, has struggled – his lack of tempo uncovered by counter-attacking groups – and Caglar Soyuncu is off form. And there can be no Wilfred Ndidi in opposition to United as a result of the holding midfielder has a hamstring harm.
Rodgers hopes Evans can be accessible quickly, though Northern Eire coach Ian Baraclough precipitated alarm when he mentioned the 33-year-old ‘has not only got to think about his foot for the rest of his career but for after football as well’.
The following transfer could also be to modify Timothy Castagne right into a again three, with Ricardo Pereira at proper wing-back and, given Ryan Bertrand’s issues after he caught Covid-19 on the eve of the season, Luke Thomas on the left.
Leicester’s new £100m coaching floor is a key promoting level when attracting new gamers
Nonetheless, on the 185-acre web site at Seagrave, there’s essentially better separation between the assorted departments and a few really feel it is going to take time to recreate the spirit of their previous house
In addition to the defensive worries, it’s price highlighting quite a lot of different points. Leicester’s new £100m coaching floor is spectacular and a key promoting level when attracting new gamers. Rodgers is correct to emphasize its significance within the Foxes’ quest to achieve the highest desk and keep there.
But Sportsmail understands some staff miss the extra homely environment of Belvoir Drive, the smaller base within the coronary heart of the town the place gamers and employees in any respect ranges have been thrown collectively. On the 185-acre web site at Seagrave, there’s essentially better separation between the assorted departments and a few really feel it is going to take time to recreate the spirit of their previous house.
There was additionally the embarrassment of Kelechi Iheanacho being turned again by Polish border guards forward of the 1-0 defeat at Legia Warsaw final month, as a result of his paperwork weren’t so as. It felt like an avoidable error.
Wembley match-winner Youri Tielemans has not recaptured the chic type of final season and has nonetheless not signed a brand new contract, together with his present one up on the finish of subsequent season. Harvey Barnes has but to attain within the league and appears to overlook his productive relationship on the left with Thomas, who has usually performed second fiddle to Bertrand. Of the brand new signings, solely on-loan Ademola Lookman has settled rapidly, with Vestergaard, Bertrand, Boubakary Soumare and Patson Daka all preventing for kind.
After which there’s James Maddison.
As soon as a linchpin of Rodgers’ staff, Maddison now struggles to get into it. The membership have been keen to hearken to presents over the summer season, although Arsenal, who have been , weren’t ready to match the beginning worth of £60m.
As soon as a linchpin of Rodgers’ staff, James Maddison (above) now struggles to get into it
Thank goodness for Jamie Vardy. As feisty as ever, Vardy is flying, with six objectives already
Quickly after recovering from a hip downside, Maddison was disregarded of the line-up for the Cup remaining and is believed to have made his disappointment clear to Rodgers throughout the build-up, with Rodgers then publicly discussing the participant’s health ranges quickly afterwards.
There have been solutions — denied by Maddison’s camp — that the 24-year-old continues to be troubled by the hip, which has already flared up twice within the final 16 months.
Thank goodness for Jamie Vardy. As feisty as ever, Vardy is flying, with six objectives already, and is again in tandem with Iheanacho, who is far improved beneath Rodgers. Each scored at Palace, which means Leicester have hit 29 objectives within the 15 video games the duo have began collectively since March.
If solely all the things have been so easy for Leicester. Quickly after the brand new coaching floor opened, the membership’s house owners detailed bold plans for the stadium and its environment, which might improve the capability to 40,000 and have seven new buildings.
Though Leicester’s foundations stay robust, restore work is required and it should start to point out on Friday.