Leicester City only made three signings this summer (four if you want to include Nampalys Mendy in the “like a new signing” cliché) so they needed to bring in quality.
It’s early, but all signs suggest that they have done exactly that.
Much of the first few weeks focussed on the incredible introductory form of Timothy Castagne, and we’ve now moved on to Wesley Fofana’s faultless start as a 19 year old Premier League CB.
Both have been fully deserving of their hype, but I feel like it’s time to send a little more love the way of Cengiz Ünder.
The Cengiz Under x Jamie Vardy partnership is bubbling nicely:— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) November 3, 2020
➡️ Under subbed on 75th min vs Arsenal
️Under assists Vardy on 80th min vs Arsenal
➡️ Under subbed on 71st min vs Leeds
️ Under assists Vardy on 76th min vs Leeds pic.twitter.com/xkzXOhZDMV
The Turkish winger is taking a little longer to work his way fully into the side, but when he gets on the pitch, the impact is certainly there.
His quality in undeniable. It’s an incredibly small sample size at this point and no, I don’t expect his 1.97xA per 90 to continue, but Kevin de Bruyne’s career high is 0.66 and he’s still pretty useful.
At this point with a new team, you might expect the main highlights for a forward to be moments of individual brilliance, but the most impressive part of his brief time on the pitch might just be how quickly he’s established an understanding with his teammates.
Leicester won comfortably away vs. Leeds tonight. This was the third goal, scored by Vardy and assisted by Ünder. But the star of the play was Maddison, with an amazing through ball to Ünder after a great directed reception. #LEELEI #PremierLeague pic.twitter.com/R2VTshzX18— Last Row (@lastrowview) November 2, 2020
He’s already picked up three assists in limited duty (tied for the team lead in all competitions), and the build up for Vardy’s goal against Leeds might be the best example.
First of all is the ball from Maddison. With Ünder’s pace in behind, much like Vardy, a good connection with the creators behind him will be key. Madders already knows exactly how much he needs to put on that ball to hit his man in stride.
This format maybe doesn’t do enough to show just how well the Turkey international does to put this on a plate for his striker either. There’s never a thought to go for goal himself, just an inherent understanding of where his new go-to goal scorer is, and how to lay the ball into his path.
It was hardly a one-off, either.
This time the ball is from Tielemans and it’s from deeper against a slightly higher line, but the plan is just the same and just as effective.
In fact, if there’s one thing we haven’t seen from Ünder yet, it’s a hunger to go for goal and hit the net himself. Does he have that in his arsenal?
Leicester City fans feast your eyes on Cengiz Ünder pic.twitter.com/IbmsfBAbg2— Turkish Football (@Turkish_Futbol1) November 11, 2020
Let’s call that a yes.