Why did Leicester City allow centre-back Filip Benkovic leave the club for free, and what has he said about the Foxes since leaving?
The Benkovic transfer will obviously go down in the LCFC archives as a definite failure. One that seemed avoidable for several reasons; yet reinforces the notion to us fans that managers know better than us with regard to their players and roster. A sometimes hard part of football to swallow – especially when some gaffers decide to continue with clearly failing tactics on occasion.
Nevertheless the boss is with his personnel every day to a certain extent, creating a bond. Or, as may be the case here, possibly not gelling together effectively to have a successful student-tutor relationship. A keen insight into the defender’s current quality is that he failed to even impress when not sitting on the substitute’s bench for Bristol City and Cardiff City.
There are rumours that Benkovic became increasingly awkward to manage, though that is unsubstantiated hearsay. If the Croatian was upset or frustrated at the lack of opportunities afforded to him at Leicester, it would be completely normal.
According to Rodgers, the 24-year-old was not of a standard to play for his Foxes in the Premier League. However, the former Celtic chief praised Benkovic’s involvement whilst they both enjoyed success with the Hoops in the Scottish Premiership.
Below is what Benkovic posted on social media after joining Italian club Udinese:
“I’m grateful and happy for a new start. I can’t change the past but now I’m looking forward to what the future holds and will continue working hard and never give up. Thrilled to be part of this club. Forza Udinese”
Filip Benkovic, Instagram
Following the mutual cancellation of the athlete’s contract, Rodgers revealed this about Benkovic and the situation:
“For a number of reasons. He was a player who had been playing first-team football and then came to Celtic and he was outstanding. He picked up some injuries, so his availability was disrupted. The loans haven’t worked out well for him. Personally, it hasn’t worked for him. He had issues back home he felt he had to deal with. He had to break the cycle. It wasn’t happening for him, so he needs a fresh start. I hope he can get his career back on track. Hopefully he can go away and have some time to recover. The Premier League is a difficult league to play. Unless you’re right physically and mentally, the Premier League is so difficult.”
Another Leicester City update
Foxes striker Patson Daka has been backed by Rodgers to step up in the absence of attack duo Kelechi Iheanacho and Jamie Vardy. Daka is still inexperienced at English top-flight level though showed his quality in a number of different competitions, including the EPL, for the east Midlands side already.
The Northen Irishman said his young forward does have experience – presumably referring to RB Salzburg along with the Zambian’s international appearances – and that the Blue Army will see him positively develop over the coming years. In addition, Rogers suggested he is happy Daka’s impact for the team.
Furthermore, the boss claimed that the Zambia goalscorer needs confidence in a challenging division. It is not easy for many elite players to get used to the demands of the PL; adapting to the physicality, intensity and new style is key, the 48-year-old says.