Friday, January 27, 2023

Why Signing This English Ace Could Turn Out To Be A Masterstroke From Leicester Boss Brendan Rodgers

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Jack O’Brien
A 22 y/o football nerd seeking my way into football writing. I love Irish football and also the Premier League. A huge Arsenal fan! Aside from writing, I like to spend my time fishing and drinking beer.

Leicester City have had a relatively quiet January transfer window this year. The Foxes were able to make only one signing in the form of Ryan Bennett, who joined from Wolves in a short-term loan deal. But in this article, we will discuss why the acquisition of Bennett could turn out to be a masterstroke from Brendan Rodgers.

Bennett’s success at Wolves

Bennett was a part of the Wolverhampton Wanderers side since 2017 when he joined the club in a free transfer from Norwich City. He quickly became a key member of the Wolves backline, notably making 29 league appearances in his debut campaign for the club. He helped the club reach promotion during that corresponding season.

And in the following campaign, where Wolves finished seventh despite winning only promotion at the start of the season, Bennett’s contributions at the back were vital. Indeed, the Englishman made 34 league appearances, building a solid partnership alongside Conor Coady and Willy Boly. As a result, Wolves secured Europa League football.

Although Bennett had lost his place to the likes of Romain Saiss and Leander Dendocker, he remains a quality defender, and a move to Leicester City could provide him with the ideal opportunity to prove himself.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 29: Sadio Mane of Liverpool closed down by Ryan Bennett of Wolverhampton Wanderers during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Anfield on December 29, 2019 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Bennett: More than a back-up at Leicester?

Bennett is primarily considered as a mere back-up for the reliable defensive duo of Caglar Soyuncu and Jonny Evans, both of who have emerged as one of the best performing defenders in the Premier League this season. And it makes sense too as Leicester were lacking any other reliable alternative, especially with Wes Morgan turning 36 this month.

Tactically, Bennett has very little chance of becoming a first-team regular at Leicester during the remainder of the campaign. Manager Rodgers has primarily preferred a four-man backline, and it’s unlikely he would want to change it anytime soon.

However, it is fair to point out that the Foxes are starting to concede more goals, of late. They have kept only one clean sheet in their last ten Premier League matches. And with that in mind, Rodgers could perhaps opt for a more defensive role or even revert to a three-man backline. That could make a lot of sense, especially considering the success Bennett has had playing in that system, during his time at Wolves.

But regardless, the Wolves star seems like an ideal acquisition for Leicester City. He will provide Rodgers more depth as well as tactical options in the defensive department that could ultimately help the club finish this season on a strong note. And with Soyuncu likely to leave in the summer, it won’t be a bad idea for Leicester to monitor Bennett’s performances closely.

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