Why Leicester City must hold onto Brendan Rodgers at all costs
According to The Sun, Brendan Rodgers has a clause in his Leicester City contract which would let him join another club.
The 2015-16 season was a fairytale for the Foxes. Managed by Claudio Ranieri, they overcame all odds and won the Premier League. Three years and three managers later, Leicester have once again found their feet in the top-flight. There are placed 2nd in the league and are 3 points ahead of Manchester City.
Brendan Rodgers, well-known for being a master tactician, has brought back life into the King Power. In the transfer market, he made some spot-on decisions and the recruitment policy has paid instant dividends in the ongoing campaign.
They had a major decision to make regarding the future of Harry Maguire but now that he’s gone, it’s safe to say that the scouts did a fantastic job by signing Çağlar Söyüncü in 2018. He might not have set the league on fire in his first season but the defender is providing stability to the Leicester defence.
Youri Tielemans was next in, joining from Monaco after his successful loan spell in the second half of last season. And in Tielemans, they have got a solid box-to-box midfielder, who bosses the game in the centre of the park.
Next in line was Ayoze Perez followed by Dennis Praet, who joined on the deadline day from Sampdoria. And the departure of Harry Maguire surely balanced the sheets for the Foxes.
Leicester’s default formation under former manager Claude Puel was a 4-2-3-1, with two holding midfielders, two wingers and James Maddison playing as a No.10 behind Vardy.
Rodgers has changed Leicester’s midfield shape to a 4-1-4-1 that easily shifts to a 4-3-3. Wilfred Ndidi is the deep-lying playmaker, who breaks things up but then delivers quick passes. Tielemans has been pushed higher up the pitch and closer to Vardy; a move that has transformed Leicester.
The Belgian’s passing was always exemplary but now, he’s doing his work in the final third. On the left, Leicester are fluid and hugely effective. Maddison has ample scope to drift wide and find space. Meanwhile, Harvey Barnes is not a natural winger and he often drifts infield, allowing the marauding Ben Chilwell to overlap and provide crosses.
Ayoze Perez and his backup, Demarai Gray, are more than capable of running the show and contributing the odd goal. Rodgers has also managed to build a wall in front of Kasper Schmeichel by keeping a constant backline with the ever-consistent Jonny Evans and Çağlar Söyüncü accompanied by bombarding fullbacks Ricardo and Chilwell. This bodes extremely well for the team and the rewards are being reaped consistently.
Ranieri’s miracle men had passion, desire and bags of experience but the team put together by Brendan Rodgers has more dimension and creativity. In fact, it is a beautiful blend of old experienced warriors with calm heads along with young lads.
Söyüncü, a ball playing youthful centre-back, can always look towards his partner Jonny Evans, who has played in the league for almost a decade now. And in Jamie Vardy, all the youngsters have someone they can look up to both in terms of experience as well as loyalty to the club.
The fact that only Liverpool have managed more points than Leicester so far in the season tells us that the Foxes are here to stay and challenge for the top-four, if not push for the title. In Brendan Rodgers, they have got more of a teacher than a manager.
Amidst all the interest from Arsenal (h/t The Sun), Leicester’s topmost priority must be to hold on to Brendan Rodgers. The ex-Liverpool manager has started to make a difference at the club and the players are performing to their potential under his system.
His ability to increase the outputs of crucial players has made Leicester one of the most formidable forces in the Premier League.