3 Players who let the side down in Bournemouth 2-1 Leicester

Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall of Leicester City (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)
Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall of Leicester City (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images) /
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Leicester City
James Justin of Leicester City (Photo by James Gill – Danehouse/Getty Images) /

James Justin

James Justin is going under the radar at the moment, but for all the wrong reasons. The England full back is enduring his worst season at Leicester since he signed from Luton in 2019.

Having made a deserved – and delayed – international appearance for England during the summer, it looked as if the fullback was going from strength to strength. This season though, his form has faltered.

When looking back at the 2020/21 season, you’ll find a man full of confidence as he took full control of the left side of the pitch. His bombing runs caused havoc for the opposition and his partnership with Harvey Barnes worked wonders in attack.

Then, in 2021, Justin ruptured his ACL and missed 331 days of football. Since his return from injury, he’s looked the shell of that player. He still makes attacking runs, but he struggles with combining that and his defensive duties. Too many times he has left his defence vulnerable being caught out of position.

His struggle reminds me of Ricardo Pereira’s as he too looks the shell of his former self since recovering from his own ACL injury nightmare. With both, the biggest thing is confidence and belief. Get your confidence in check and you start to find your groove. Justin is guilty of trying too hard rather than letting the game come to him.

Both of Bournemouth’s goals come from the left of the pitch and responsibility must be placed on the young fullback. For the first, he doesn’t anticipate the Cherries’ quick throw in and is caught in the centre of the pitch, leaving Solanke acres of space to make a clever run and out-pace Faes. Immediate blame is placed on Faes for losing out on that battle, but it would have played out differently if Justin has been there as support to either add pressure or push him out wide.

For the winner, only a few minutes later, Christie gets the turn on Justin and runs down the left channel, supported by the bombarding Ryan Fredricks. Justin doesn’t know who to close down, but by the time Fredricks has the ball and is aiming to cross, Justin’s attempted block comes off as a half-hearted jump. He follows that up by failing to win his header against Solanke – the aerial battle has always been a weaker side of his game – and the winner is scored.

Justin is only 24, he’s got a lot to learn and a large room for improvement, but I’ve every faith in him. With Castagne potentially injured for the weekend, it bodes a perfect opportunity for Justin to play his favoured right-back. Hopefully we start to see the old James Justin soon enough.