More optimism surrounding Leicester’s emerging academy, U-23s

Leicester City U23 and Tottenham Hotspur U23 (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
Leicester City U23 and Tottenham Hotspur U23 (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images) /
Leicester City
Leicester City U23 and Tottenham Hotspur U23 (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images) /

Leicester City’s U23 youth academy has truly blossomed this season. The team continues to impress in the Premier League 2, here is what you should know.

Ben Petty is leading the development squad in one of their best seasons in the PL2 Division One yet. After a dismal last season which should have seen them relegated, this team now challenges for top spots.

A big part of this is their focus on young and technically gifted talent. To name a small number: Tawanda Maswanhise, Wanya Marcal-Madivadua, Will Alves, Chris Popov, and of course Sammy Braybrooke. Not to mention all the players in the U18 side, like Ben Grist, who could make the step up.

The King Power side are fifth on 37 points and with two games left, the youth team could yet finish in second place. Their current form compared to their competition would suggest they climb the table along with Liverpool U23s, but will likely not finish in second with Arsenal U23s also performing well.

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Leicester City’s academy rise

In the last five years, the U23 line-up has finished in the bottom places, midtable, upper table, and has even finished second on multiple occasions. As FootyStats shows, the King Power youth side’s inconsistency has been a prolonged element of their game. From startling performances to dire times.

One such dire time was the 2020/21 season, which should have seen the Foxes relegated from PL2 Division One. Luckily, due to results and happenings in the lower division, our side was not relegated.

However, with Petty as boss and a younger starting XI than ever, the setup has improved immeasurably on their past performances. Notably we have seen the rise of star quality talent all over the pitch: passionate, resourceful, versatile, and technically gifted.

Petty has commented on what these great performances mean for the young Leicester team, and what standards have to be set to achieve their long term goals. As per LeicestershireLive:

"“We’ve got to work really hard next season. It’s going to be tougher. We’ve set an expectation and people think we’re going to be better because we’re a little bit older and a bit more mature”"

Next season is where they have to prove themselves. There will be players going out on loan, new players coming up from the U18 squad, and new signings to reinforce. It will be chaotic. Seeing how you handle that as a head coach and as a group of players is crucial for developing into top-tier talent.

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Leicester have plenty of players growing who could come into the senior side in the next few years. Alves, Madivadua, Maswanhise, Shane Flynn, the on loan Vontae Daley-Campbell, Jakub Stolarczyk, and Callum Wright are some of those earmarked for placed with the senior side at some point. Are there any U23 or U18 players that you’d like to feature for the senior side next season? Let Foxes of Leicester know on our social media channels.