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Leicester Stock Watch: Few Foxes shine through a rough patch

Riyad Mahrez continues to heat up as the Foxes cool down.

Leicester City v Manchester City - Carabao Cup Quarter-Final

After previously winning four straight games, Leicester City has dropped two in a row. The Foxes lost in embarrassing fashion to Crystal Palace and then proceeded to regroup only to lose in heartbreaking fashion to Manchester City in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals.

The up and down performances have seen a few of City’s stars shine and a few others disappoint:

Stock Up

Riyad Mahrez: Yes, he did miss a crucial penalty in the cup. No, he didn’t contribute much (nobody did) against Palace. Still, Riyad Mahrez has been in scintillating form. For so long the conversation surrounding him has been about getting “back” to where he once was. Fans and pundits alike have waited for the recreation of the form he was in during Leicester’s golden year. It appears he has finally reached that point. In nearly every game he plays he provides a creative spark that no other Fox can. Against Manchester City, his substitution into the game immediately gave Leicester life. From the moment him and Vardy were included in the action it appeared there was only one team capable of scoring and it wasn't the current league leaders. This is the kind of level that makes Riyad Mahrez a world class player.

Harry Maguire: Maguire is a man of incredible peaks and he has shown exactly that in recent games. Even in the lopsided loss to Crystal Palace he proved to be a difficult fixture to play against. He made a few crucial interceptions and blocks - though they would eventually prove to be fruitless. What the losses have also done, however, is allow him to push the boundaries of what a center-back can do with the ball at his feet. In the desperate moments of each game Maguire showed the attacking endeavor and creativity that make him such a uniquely gifted player. In the cup he was selected to be the second Leicester player to take a penalty and delivered an unstoppable low and driven shot off the inside of the bar. It has even become custom for him to stand over free kicks, though it has still been Mahrez who has taken most. There aren’t many players who possess the skillset and ability of Harry Maguire.

Demarai Gray: The young winger may have been the lone bright spot against the Eagles. He showed more drive than any other Fox and led to the few moments of hope in that affair. Gray led the Foxes with three key passes and four accurate crosses. Against the Citizens he was a late inclusion and he still made his mark. He came on in the 72nd minute and gave Leicester hope in the dying moments of regulation by bursting past Kyle Walker and drawing a penalty. Gray continues to prove his worth as a regular first-team player under Claude Puel.

Stock Down

Wilfred Ndidi: Wilf’s momentary lapse in judgement was responsible for the death of the little remaining hope the Foxes had against Palace. He received a 61st minute second yellow after falling over in the box and being judged to have been guilty of simulation. It did appear that he received a light kick on the ankle, though he should have been more cautious knowing he was already on a yellow.

Leicester City v Crystal Palace - Premier League
Wilfred Ndidi (right) imitating disbelief while his eyes show a look of guilt.
Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

Kelechi Iheanacho: The young Nigerian striker was given a chance against his former team in the Carabao Cup and failed to make the most of it. He played 56 minutes without making much of a discernible impact before being subbed off in favor of Jamie Vardy. For a player with a previous track record of success and hype, Iheanacho’s Leicester career has gotten off to a slow start. In fairness, he hasn't been given many chances, but opportunities like the one he had against Manchester City are the ones he needs to advantage of. Thankfully, however, he is still incredibly young and gifted.

Islam Slimani: He can’t even make the bench anymore. Not even in a cup match with several rotations. Chances are that the big Algerian will be moving on to a new home in the upcoming January transfer window.