The Leicester City stock watch is a new segment to Fosse Posse in which we will be analyzing who/what has improved or damaged their standing after each week. The focus of this series will not solely be identifying who has played well and who has played poorly, but how these performances relate to prior expectations and performances.
Luckily, the first edition comes after a week with two victories so there are plenty of positives to analyze:
Harry Maguire: Probably the most obvious placement in this entire piece. He came into the season as a promising newcomer fresh off an impressive campaign with Hull City, and has blown all expectations out of the water.
Not only has he solidified the backline by racking up tackles and interceptions, he’s even added a significant amount of value to the attack. He pushes forward more than your average center back and it has already paid dividends in the form of one goal and one assist. The man has even impressed with his dribbling!
Things only got better for the young center back this week as he was selected by England manager Gareth Southgate to the Three Lions squad for their upcoming World Cup qualifiers...his first senior call-up!
(P.S. Harry Maguire is still the G.O.A.T.)
Shinji Okazaki: Shinji’s place in the XI has seemed to be in question since last summer’s spending spree and the addition of Kelechi Iheanacho has only added to this uncertainty. Apparently, however, Shinji has added goals to his repertoire. This is good news for more than one reason, but especially because it means his trademark smile will see the light more often. It may also keep him starting alongside Jamie Vardy for at least a while longer.
Leicester’s Attack: Nine goals in three regular season games is impressive by almost anybody’s standards. It’s also an improvement on last year’s tally of three goals through three games.
Honorable Mention: Islam Slimani - who struggled in an appearance off the bench against Brighton - found himself in the right position on several occasions in the league cup match against Sheffield, leading to two goals and another one being mistakenly disallowed.
Nampalys Mendy, not because he was particularly impressive, but because we all just found out he was still alive (somebody please check in on Bartosz Kapustka).
Wes Morgan: It’s not that he’s been awful, it’s just that he hasn't impressed. The captain has looked a smidge slow at times and suffered another back injury, though hopefully it’s not as serious as his previous knocks. The bigger picture, however, is that of an aging player.
Wilfred Ndidi: Another case of a player who hasn’t been bad, but hasn’t lived up to some lofty standards. Although he continues to be a defensive workhorse, he seems to have sorely missed playing alongside Danny Drinkwater. His passing has been subpar and his contribution to the attack has been lacking. The standout positive in this department was a would-be assist on Slimani’s aforementioned disallowed goal.
Yohan Benalouane: Despite not playing a minute, he appears to be on an aggressive downward trajectory. The 30-year-old hasn't featured for the Foxes since dangerously lunging at a Burton player in a preseason affair and may be on his way out the door. The use of Christian Fuchs as a center back, as well as youth team member Josh Knight in the Carabao Cup should tell us all we need to know about Benny’s current standing in the squad.