Under may have to be patient
Cengiz Under is now the only one of Leicester City’s three summer signings to not make a start for the club, but he may have to remain patient.
The Turkish winger is still trying to get to the right fitness level, said manager Brendan Rodgers, who hinted that he would gradually increase the 23-year-old’s game-time.
“Just in terms of football fit, he needed to get up to speed,” said the boss. “He’s adapting to our training and work and over the next few weeks, he’ll get some more game-time.
“He looks good in training, but naturally it takes a little bit of time when players move to a new country, and settling in, so I anticipate over the next few weeks, his game-time will be more than what it’s been.”
Read the full injury update here, including Rodgers’ shock over the severity of Caglar Soyuncu’s problem.
Benkovic not ready for Premier League
Filip Benkovic is simply not ready to play in the Premier League and that’s why he has been loaned to Cardiff City.
The Croatian centre-back was sent to the Championship club on a season-long deal last week despite a Leicester City injury crisis at the back.
Caglar Soyuncu and Daniel Amartey are now expected to be on the sidelines for some time, while Jonny Evans and Wes Morgan were both doubts ahead of the game against Aston Villa, and if they had not been fit, Wesley Fofana would have been the only available centre-back in the squad.
That injury situation was not serious enough for Benkovic to remain at the King Power Stadium, with manager Brendan Rodgers admitting that the “brutal honesty” of the matter is the 23-year-old is not yet of Premier League standard.
“You’ve got to look at the needs of Filip,” said Rodgers at his press conference on Wednesday. “He’s not ready to play in the Premier League yet. That’s pretty clear. That’s the brutal honesty of it.”
Read more here.
25-man squad confirmed
Demarai Gray could get a chance in the Premier League after the out-of-favour winger was included in Leicester City’s 25-man squad.
Gray was left out of the line-up that will compete in the Europa League group matches, and while he is yet to even make the bench in the Premier League, the 24-year-old has been registered on City’s list for domestic games.
There are no surprise inclusions or exclusions on the list, which can be updated after the January transfer window, with all 25 places filled and no room for free agents.
Homegrown midfielder Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall was named in the Europa League squad but has since gone out on loan to Luton Town. Had he stayed at the King Power Stadium, Brendan Rodgers may have been left with a difficult decision to make, regarding his Premier League squad, but as such, he has not had to leave out any of the senior players under his guidance.
New signing Wesley Fofana and young left-back Luke Thomas are both eligible for the Under-21 list, where City are able to name an unlimited number of players born in 1999 or later.
Read the full list here.
Lowdown on Zorya Luhansk
Imagine Leicester City had spent the past six years playing in Plymouth, with little hope of returning to the King Power Stadium.
For their first Europa League opponents Zorya Luhansk, an equivalent scenario is a reality.
Since 2014 and the start of a conflict in eastern Ukraine, close to the Russian border, Zorya have been playing their home matches 250 miles away in Zaporizhia.
But it has far from halted their rise. They’ve become an established Europa League side and now they’re looking to do what no Ukrainian outfit has done before in 32 previous attempts: win on English soil.
While Zorya are little-known compared to the likes of Dynamo Kiev and Shakhtar Donetsk, this is their seventh straight season in the Europa League, and third time in the group stages of the competition.
Click here for our full lowdown on Zorya.