Why Leicester shouldn’t write Jannik Vestergaard off yet
Since joining Leicester City in the late summer of 2021, Jannik Vestergaard has made twenty appearances for the Club. The 29-year-old’s performances have lacked the quality we hoped he would bring and some displays had fans wondering how he came to be a professional football player at all.
However, with a long list of defensive injuries meant that Brendan Rodgers’ options were few and far between. Daniel Amartey put in some great efforts and offered a much-needed lifeline when things got tough, but with the added European fixtures it meant that Vestergaard was the only option at times.
With the big boots of Little Wes to fill, the Danish International stepped up to the plate and played in his first game for the Foxes at home to Wolves, helping to see out a 1-0 win. Given his relatively short pre-season, being brought on to defend a 1-0 lead against a talented Wolverhampton Wanderers side was a big ask.
After his debut it was a number of weeks before the centre-back made his next appearance after suffering a knee injury during training, starting against Napoli in LCFC’s first game of their Europa League campaign. It started well, but what came to be one of Leicester’s downfalls was their inability to hold onto a lead. Although, before that, the club had only won one of their last three: beating Norwich and an embarrassing defensive display saw West Ham put four past Kasper Schmeichel.
Throughout the season, King Power fans watched on as games were thrown away by XI. Supporters were quick to blame Vestergaard for the team’s poor defensive form; that and having so many of our defenders out injured.
On a whole, the 2021/22 season was poor from a defensive point of view, nevertheless, it wasn’t just ‘Vest’ that failed to standout when it mattered. What didn’t help his fortunes was being put on so often to defend slim leads in important games, even when the team were on top and looking fairly comfortable for the win, for example being brought on at Anfield in the EFL Cup in the 60th minute when we had a two-goal margin, for us to end up losing on penalties.
The displays of the team on a whole are why I don’t think we should write Vestergaard off just yet: Çağlar Söyüncü declined, Wilfred Ndidi had dips throughout the season and Ricardo Pereira didn’t show many signs of getting back to his best. None of the squad really gave their best, albeit some showed off their quality occasionally.
I feel that the gaffer’s tactics and the constant injury of key players didn’t give the outfit a chance to shine. By the time we had most of the players back, the damage to the the morale was already done and it was too late for us to make a late comeback.
We shouldn’t look back on the season past and judge any of the lads, it wasn’t a great season, but at times anything that could go against us did.It’s hard to do well when you don’t have even a little bit of luck on your side. I think the team will come out fighting and ready for another top-four drive and we will see the best of them all, including Vestergaard.