Leicester City bank on striker’s return against Brighton and Hove Albion

Posted On 21 Jan 2023 at 2:13 pm

James Maddison could make a return for Leicester City as they host Brighton and Hove Albion this afternoon (Saturday 21 January), according to Foxes boss Brendan Rodgers.

Maddison has been out since he limped off with a knee injury in the win over West Ham United in November.

He still went to the World Cup with England but failed to feature and returned with another knee problem which has sidelined him since.

The 26-year-old has resumed training and is in contention to face Brighton at the King Power Stadium – and Rodgers believes that he will make a big difference to the squad.

Rodgers said: “He is such a massive talent and he has improved so much in every way from seeing him when I first came here.

“He is one of the top players in the Premier League in every facet of his game. To have that missing from our team makes a big difference. It will be brilliant to have him back.

“That quality he brings to the team, we don’t have anything like it. That’s the reality. Players of that quality give confidence to other players. Everything else moves from that.

“He can create space. He can keep the ball. He can stay on it. He can create. The big area of his game that has improved is the intensity in his pressing. Getting him back in the fold brings a different dimension to us.”

Without Maddison, Leicester have lost their last four top-flight games to sit 15th in a congested table, two points above the bottom three.

Rodgers said: “If you look at the league, it has fantastic coaches, fantastic clubs, so it’s very competitive. I think right the way through until the end it will be a fight for every single team.

“If you win a few games, you jump a number of positions, so for us that is our idea – to in this second half of the season climb into that top half.”

Leicester are expected to strengthen their squad for their survival fight – and defender Victor Kristiansen is close to joining from FC Copenhagen.

He would be the club’s first permanent signing in the January transfer window since 2018, with Rodgers adding: “It’s nice. It’s not all about new players all of the time.

“Obviously, in our position I have always felt with this squad that regeneration is so important – for every team.

“I have been here nearly four years. Normally teams are changing after three years.

“If we can get a few in, that will help energise the team. But teams out there are competitive now, they want to develop – and they can go and improve their squads.

“Clearly there are finances there and they want to improve. Our first place to look is always within for young talent. If not, you look outside and most teams have done that.”

  1. Jim Reply

    Maddison is not a striker.

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