HUGE PROBLEM: Four ways Leicester City can solve Enzo Maresca’s newest problem including wildcard option

As Enzo Maresca points out, “it’s so long” before the January transfer window opens that Leicester City cannot consider replacing Callum Doyle with a fresh signing.

Although the exact problem is unknown, the Manchester City loanee is expected to be sidelined for some time due to a knee injury, forcing Maresca to explore internally for remedies. With no other left-footed defenders in the senior squad, it’s not an easy task.

Maresca: Doyle Out, Coady Could Return

Maresca had identified Victor Kristiansen as a prospective Doyle deputy, but the young Dane refused to stay and learn to be a substitute center-back. He is presently enjoying his time on loan at Bologna as a more typical left-back.

As a result, City must find a new solution to replace the man who was providing them with solutions. When asked if Doyle’s injury would keep him out long enough for a January transfer, Maresca replied, “Oh, it’s so far (away).” All I can say is that it’s a terrible shame. We had several additional solutions with Callum present that we no longer have.”It’s the little things that count. He can find answers inside, on the other side, and behind with his left foot. We’ll make a slight adjustment using a right footer. We can’t do anything right now because the transfer window is closed. We simply need to work out a solution with the players we already have.”

So,Here are four players that City could use. Three players have already made the first team, with another coming up through the ranks.
James Justin

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As the current first-choice backup on the opposite side and a player who believes he is best on the left, he is the obvious choice. However, Maresca did not seem completely persuaded Justin was the right man for the job, characterizing his performance in Doyle’s role against Bristol City as “quite good,” which is less effusive than he has been about his performances on the other side.


Justin would offer athleticism and a more attacking instinct, with the England international eager to carry the ball into attacking areas. But, in terms of passing, he won’t be able to match Doyle.

 Wout Faes

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Another possibility is to switch Faes from right to left. He spent most of last season on the left side of City’s two center-backs, so he’s not unfamiliar with the position.

Maresca evidently likes the Belgian enough to keep him in his side, and if his passing range isn’t as fantastic as Doyle’s, it’s not horrible. This would allow Justin to play on the right, where Maresca believes he is more comfortable.

Vestergaard, Jannik

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With Conor Coady now back, Vestergaard may struggle to keep his role at the heart of the defense. He could, though, be a left-side alternative.

He is arguably the greatest option for matching Doyle’s passing range, but his mobility would be a worry. He is sheltered on both sides while he is in the middle, but on the left, he is more vulnerable and must do more chasing back.

Wilson-Brown, Tom
What about a wildcard? Wilson-Brown, 18, has been practicing with City’s first team under Maresca and has played for their Under-21s. He is, most importantly, left-footed.

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He’s tall, so physicality shouldn’t be an issue, and he hasn’t appeared out of place in prior friendlies with the first team. Furthermore, as Kasey McAteer has demonstrated this season, academy players with limited experience may fit in with Maresca’s setup.

It would be a risk, but one that could pay off if Wilson-Brown’s left-footedness allows him to play passes that Doyle and others on the first team can’t.

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