A few days ago, Leicester City fans were delivered the unfortunate news that James Maddison, Ben Chilwell and Christian Fuchs would all miss the rest of the season through injury.
With so much on the line through the final three (now two) games, it was certainly a blow, but in today’s press conference Brendan Rodgers delivered an even more concerning update.
Brendan Rodgers has just been speaking to the media. Maddison should be ok for the start of next season, but he says Chilwell and Fuchs could take a little longer. #LCFC— Rob Tanner (@RobTannerLCFC) July 17, 2020
Whatever a large portion of the fan base might seem to think, Ben Chilwell is one of the league’s better left backs and was certainly in the team’s plans for next season.
While Fuchs probably wasn’t looking at a regular place, he is an usually talented and reliable backup, so to lose both for any length of time next season is a huge blow to the balance and shape of the squad.
Under normal circumstances, the Foxes’ 3rd choice LB would be James Justin, but with Ricardo Pereira already ruled out for at least some of next season, JJ is the starting RB. Both positions are starting to look a little precarious.
In the short term, with 3rd choice RB Marc Albrighton also done, Rodgers is looking for a miracle to get his team over the line.
Yeah, something a lot like that.
As fans we’re desperate for him to keep up that form against Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United because, well, there’s no other option. And also it’s always fun to see someone break through from the academy.
Still, I wouldn’t want us to be relying solely on Thomas at the start of next year. We don’t know yet exactly which European competition we’ll be in, but it can lead to early season fixture congestion even in a normal year, which this autumn certainly won’t be.
To do that in the first season is phenomenal. For these boys to be guaranteed that position with two games to go, I tip my hat to them - the manager on qualifying for Europe
None of the alternatives are ideal though.
Do we buy more fullbacks, only to have them sit out of most of the season once the stars return? You have to consider the 25 man squad places, too. Can we waste them on 6 fullbacks?
Chilwell has certainly had rumoured interest from plenty of clubs, while Ricardo is simply too good for Europe’s elite not to be snooping around. But would we sell known quantities just to make room for lesser players at the same position? You definitely won’t get the most value for them at the moment.
It’s a tricky situation for Rodgers and the recruitment team to sort out over the brief summer break, but for now at least we can be hopeful that the position is in good hands for two more huge games.