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Leicester City 2019/20 season review: defenders

As solid a defensive pair as you’ll see

Leicester City v AFC Bournemouth - Premier League Photo by Robin Jones - AFC Bournemouth/AFC Bournemouth via Getty Images

With the season in the books, we’re taking a look back at how each of the players performed, starting with the goalkeepers and moving onto the defenders today.

Overall, it was a pretty good season for Leicester City as a defensive unit. They finished 5th in goals conceded, as close to Manchester City in 2nd as Tottenham Hotspur in 6th.

The high points were even better than that; the Foxes were right up there at the top for much of the season and only dropped as the season fell apart down the stretch, with 3 of the regular back 4 missing.

Right Backs

Ricardo Pereira was one the league’s best players at any position so...hard to be upset with this group as a whole. As impressive as he was to watch on the field, his impact on the team was even clearer during his late season absence.

His young backup James Justin wouldn’t have been expecting much league time this season, having just arrived from Luton Town. Preseason hopes were that he’d play some cup games and hopefully flash some potential.

He certainly managed that, grabbing attention every time he got onto the pitch. By the time he was forced into first team duties, the fans were actually pretty excited to see him get an extended run.

The 21 year old looked immediately at home at the Premier League level. That’s about as much as you can ask for, and he should be delighted with his first season at the club. I don’t think they’ll be worried about him taking the job until Ricardo comes back.

Centre Backs

Jonny Evans continued to do what he does. His experience and calm seem to resonate throughout the back line, and he’s never looked troubled despite playing with a rotating cast of partners since joining.

The better news is that it looks like we’ve found him the perfect paring alongside Çağlar Söyüncü. We all had some hopes for the Turkish international after a year to settle, but he’s far surpassed any of them.

Both starters really went beyond reasonable expectations for their first year playing together, but they looked natural as a double act. The better news is that, transfer dependent, we’ll be going into next year with the same, settled CB pair for the first time since 2016. That can only be good.

Wes Morgan was surprisingly dependable considering his limited movement and I’m fine with him as a 4th or 5th option, but he isn’t and that’s a pretty big issue that showed up at the end of the season.

Ryan Bennett is gone and no Leicester fan will miss him. Whether it was injury or otherwise, Filip Benković couldn’t even get a look in on the League Cup. He went out to Bristol City in January and never impressed in just 7 starts.

The Foxes absolutely have to find some improvement here over the short summer break.

Left Backs

Let’s just get this one out of the way right at the start. If you think Ben Chilwell is an awful player, a disgrace to the badge and they should “get him out of my club”, then you’re just flat out wrong. He’s a very talented fullback that most clubs would, apparently do, want in their own side.

With that said, he had a disappointing season. Yes, his goal and assist output looks surprisingly like Wilf Zaha, but defensively he could certainly have been better. And we know that because he has been better before.

The owners are going to play hard ball over a potential sale, as they should, but of all of our stars, Chilwell is probably the most replaceable.

In fact, much like Maguire last year, we may have those players in the squad already. Christian Fuchs is back for another year and, while his ceiling is certainly not the same, he never seems to put in a bad performance, as a LB or even an emergency CB.

Under normal circumstances you’d want us to sign at least some competition for him, but these circumstances are not normal.

Former Leicester City Under 9, Luke Thomas was thrown to the wolves blades during the Foxes injury crisis and put up some performances that honestly no one could have reasonably hoped for, even in two losses.

It was only 3 games. It was only 3 games. It was oh hell, who cares? He’s very clearly the next Gareth Bale.