Leicester City fans remember the last time they witnessed James Justin assuming the left-back role for the side. It was in the FA Cup win against Brighton last February.
In the highs and lows over 11 months, the Foxes have desired the return of their first-choice left-back. The Leicester defender has made his anticipatory return on the turf as he featured for the under-23 side last weekend.
45 minutes for James Justin as #LCFC U23s fall to a 5-0 thrashing away at Chelsea.
Meanwhile, the U18s picked up a 2-1 win over Birmingham at Seagrave.
— Luke Pawley (@lukempawley) January 8, 2022
On January 8th, Chelsea hosted Leicester City for Round 16 at the Cobham Training Centre. The hosts are placed 10th in the Premier League 2, followed by the visitors who are 11th. It was rejoicing to see Justin resuming his defensive duties for the club as the King Power side prepared with a 3-1-4-2 system.
A glimpse from Justin’s Leicester City u-23 return
Despite the marginal disparity between the two contenders, Chelsea managed to thrash the Foxes with a final scoreline of 5-0. The silver lining is that James Justin did not play the full 90 minutes because that would have been a catastrophe.
Justin started the game as a right-back but switched back to his comfortable left through the half. He was withdrawn only after the first 45 minutes. The decision was not to risk him with any strain. Irish left-back Shane Flynn replaced him for the second half, putting an end to his return to action.
The 23-year-old displayed no visible signs of effects from his injury. He was decent considering his long absence from competitive football. Moreover, while he was on the pitch in that back three trios, Leicester City only conceded one goal.
“JJ came through 45 minutes unscathed, it was planned that he was only going to play 45 minutes and, in the first half, the game was very even and JJ was integral to how we were playing. Obviously, we missed him in the second half. We were a very young side in the second half and that told towards at the end when we tired. But as far as the first team are concerned, it was the first step for JJ to return.” – Ben Petty, Leicester City under-23s coach via LCFC.com
The half-time concluded with a 1-0 scoreline, which extended several folds in the second half. Two of those four goals conceded in the second half came in the last eight minutes. It did not help either when Leicester City shot-stopper Brad Young, unfortunately, contributed to an own goal.
Ideally, Justin should play a few more games to test his performance before venturing for the first team. It would be wise to see him play two or three games for the 90 minutes before jumping ship.