With the season now well and truly underway, it’s time for FoL to pick our brightest young prospects for Leicester City’s 20/21 campaign.
Every year, Leicester City seems to consistently produce a dazzling crop of breakout stars. Notably, Çağlar Söyüncü solidified his place in the first team last campaign, academy graduate Ben Chilwell made a £50 million switch to Chelsea, while fellow graduate Hamza Choudhury is reportedly also being targeted by Premier League rivals.
Despite newest recruit Timothy Castagne marking his EPL debut with a sensational goal against the Baggies on Sunday, Brendan Rodgers spoke recently on his frustrations with squad depth regarding transfer activity this season. Even if the Foxes are able to get a few more deals over the line before the deadline on 5 October, it’s likely that much of Leicester’s youth will need to step up this campaign to meet the demands of increased fixture congestion. That said, here’s who FoL are tipping for greatness in 20/21.
First up is centre-forward George Hirst, England U-20 international and son of former Sheffield Wednesday striker David Hirst. The 21-year-old forward was signed from sister club OH Leuven in 2019, making his first team debut as a substitute against Tottenham towards the tail end of last campaign. In 16-17, Hirst scored an impressive 40 goals in all competitions and was consistently prolific for England’s youth setup, netting hat-tricks against Cuba and Poland and finding himself a place in the 2017 Toulon Team of the Tournament, while also sharing top scorer. Last season, he scored a respectable nine goals for Leicester City in the PL2, and looks set for a greater role in the first team.
With only one striker targeted this window and the Foxes yet to sign a forward player at all, Brendan Rodgers could bring Hirst through as reinforcement to golden boot winner Jamie Vardy and deputy Kelechi Iheanachco. At 6’4, the towering centre-forward would offer aerial threat to a Leicester City front line that has sorely lacked it in the past few seasons, while with the departure of Islam Slimani looking increasingly likely, Hirst could well be the ‘Plan B’ that Leicester are looking for when the chances aren’t falling to Vardy & Co. However, Rodgers spoke recently on plans to loan out large parts of City’s U-23s to gain vital first team experience, with a loan switch to Rotherham United imminent. Although we might not see Hirst in the royal blue of Leicester this campaign, he’s definitely one to keep an eye on.