Leicester City’s transfer business will not be complete before the new term begins but Brendan Rodgers is hopeful of overcoming a “broken” pre-season to make a winning start to the Premier League campaign.
City have signed Timothy Castagne to bolster their full-back ranks following the exit of Ben Chiwell, but they are keen to do further deals to build a squad capable of competing domestically and in Europe, with a centre-back and a winger the priorities.
However, Rodgers has admitted the new faces he desires may not arrive before Sunday’s trip to the Hawthorns to face West Brom in the club’s Premier League opener, with the window open until October 5.
The lack of new recruits is not the only issue facing Rodgers, who will not get his eight-man international contingent, including new man Castagne, back in training until Thursday.
“It’ll be an exciting week,” Rodgers told LCFC TV after Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Blackburn in the final pre-season friendly. “We’ll give them a couple of days to recover, they’ve had a hard week just gone, but from Tuesday onwards it will be a big run in with a lot of preparation for next Sunday.
“We’re excited by the start of the season. We obviously won’t have all our work done on the transfer side of things, but we’ll have a strong mentality going into the first game and we’ll look to make a winning start.”
Saturday’s clash with Blackburn was the third and final pre-season game for City, and they have 14 first-team players missing in total when factoring injuries and internationals.
Do you think you’re a hot hand at Fantasy Premier League? Do you back yourself to play your chips in the right gameweeks, and nail your captain every single time?
Now is your chance to prove it – and win some prizes in the process.
Reach Fantasy Football Live (RFFL) is a brand-new FPL community, which will bring you weekly tips and hints on how to get the very best out of your team from the first kick of the season until the last.
By signing up, you will also be given the code for our exclusive, private league, with the winner receiving:
A 2020/21 replica football shirt of your choice
The inaugural RFFL winner’s trophy and certificate
To enter, simply sign up here. You will then receive an invite code to join the Reach Fantasy Football Live league, where you will be pitted against fellow fans, with the person who comes out on top taking home the prizes at the end of the campaign.
What’s more, you’ll receive a weekly bonus newsletter to help you in your quest to lift the RFFL trophy – and win some cash and kit.
Rodgers admits it has not been ideal.
“It’s been totally different,” he said. “You normally have that five or six-week period to build up. It felt like they’ve come back very quickly and apart from the first couple of weeks, it’s been very broken.
“But every team will be in the same situation. We’ll not have the players back until Thursday, and probably our first real training exercise with them all will be on Friday. It’s very different.
“We have to have the agility. Come next weekend we’ll be ready to get the engines switched on again and be ready to go for the season.”