At the weekend, Leicester City completed their short preseason with a 1-1 draw against Blackburn, following on from a 2-0 win over Birmingham City and a 0-0 draw against Sheffield Wednesday.
We didn’t see a lot of football, and many of the first team were absent, particularly for the last match, but there are still a few things we can take from it.
1. Benkovic’s chance to shine
After signing for the club on the same day as Söyüncü, and for a similar price, Filip Bekovic has failed to have the impact that the Foxes would have hoped for, spending most of his time injured, on loan or both.
With Jonny Evans missing the first three games of the season, a chance has opened up for the Croatian to get his run in the first team and his preseason performances should have been enough to put him in line for the season opener.
Leicester City Manager Brendan Rodgers on Captain Wes Morgan who left the pitch due to injury in the 0-0 draw with Sheffield Wednesday.— BBC Leicester Sport (@BBCRLSport) August 29, 2020
“Wes felt a tightness in the top of his hamstring. He’ll have a scan. All being well he’ll be ok”
It’s not that he was particularly impressive, but after a couple of years marred by unavailability, he’s fit and healthy and made it through unscathed.
The same can’t be said of Wes Morgan, so Rodgers would have to try something experimental if he still doesn’t trust Benkovic.
2. No sign of Silva or Slimani
Speaking of signings that haven’t really worked out, it felt like there was some expectation (or hope) among Leicester fans that Adrien Silva or Islam Slimani might get another chance with the club this summer.
They have not. In a shortened summer where it’s a little hard to tell exactly what’s going on with everyone, neither played a single minute.
I like Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall. He floats round the pitch and looks comfortable on the ball. He understands the game for a young player, and he understands the management side of football. He’s always trying to play the right ball. You’ve got a real player in the making - former Fox Gerry Taggart
In Silva’s case in particular, the coaches seemed much more keen to see what they had in former Development Squad player of the year Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall and by all accounts he has impressed.
At this point it seems unlikely we’ll see much money, if any at all, in return for Slimani, Silva, Fouseni Diabté (remember him?) or Rachid Ghezzal (I know you remember him), but I expect all four to play elsewhere this season.
3. Daniel Amartey’s having a party
It’s been nearly two full years since we’ve seen Daniel Amartey in Leicester City blue after a nasty broken ankle in October 2018, but he returned with a bang, scoring the opener against Blackburn.
It’s never nice to see players injured, but it felt particularly unfortunate for Amartey, who was in a great run of form, and finally seemed to have found a role he could thrive in at RB.
Since then Ricardo Pereira has improved just a little bit, James Justin impressed in his first season, and now Timothy Castagne has joined, so the competition there is fierce.
Still, one of the draws of the Ghanian has always been his versatility and in his return to action on Sarturday, we saw him at CB, the same position he has excelled in for his national team.
I’m not expecting much from him after such a long break, but I am intrigued by what he could bring. In particular, if Brendan Rodgers does opt to continue with the back three system from the end of the system, Amartey feels like a good fit as one of the wide CBs.