Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers has confirmed that several key players will be absent from his matchday squad for this evening’s Community Shield clash against Manchester City, with Jonny Evans failing to recover from a foot injury in time.
Fellow centre-back Wesley Fofana suffered a suspected fractured fibula in a pre-season game against Villarreal earlier in the week, ruling him out for the majority of the season.
He’s not the only first-team star set for a spell on the sidelines. When asked if he has any other injury concerns, Rodgers confirmed that Nampalys Mendy, Evans, James Justin and Timothy Castagne are also unavailable due to fitness issues.
“Just the guys who haven’t been involved, the likes of Papy, Jonny, James Justin. He’s come along well but is still a few months away. Timothy Castagne trained today. He was in his mask. He won’t be available, but he shouldn’t be too far away,” revealed the Leicester boss in yesterday’s press conference.
The enforced absence of Evans and Fofana is set to cause the Northern Irishman a serious selection headache, with Caglar Soyuncu the only other senior centre-back on Leicester’s books.
Filip Benkovic has been with the Foxes since the summer of 2018 but has only made two appearances for the club since his arrival, so Rodgers could turn to other options to plug the gap at the back.
When quizzed over potential additions at centre-back, he said: “We’re definitely light in the area. Filip Benkovic has done really well over the course of pre-season. Daniel Amartey has also done well. It’s certainly something we’ll look at. There will be a small group of players identified. We’ll see what happens.”
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Brendan Rodgers will be gutted
However, he’ll be gutted that key defender Evans – a stalwart in defence ever since his move to the club in 2018 – has failed to return to action in time for today’s Community Shield, making the Foxes’ task of stopping the Premier League champions even harder.
The former Manchester United ace has been one of their standout performers over the last couple of campaigns, starting every league match in the 2019/20 season, and his presence will be sorely missed at Wembley, particularly with Rodgers so light on centre-back alternatives.