Leicester City defender Harry Souttar has commented on his lack of football for the Foxes, here is what he said and our thoughts on the towering CB’s place.
The King Power club have been flying in the EFL Championship with a side mostly fixed bar a few changes due to injuries or absences over the course of the season. For example, the initial defensive lineup featured Callum Doyle, Wout Faes, and the formerly estranged Jannik Vestergaard due to Conor Coady’s early injury. Only the inclusion of James Justin has altered this.
So, it has been a tough time for the Australian international: only one Championship appearance and one League appearance. Of course, the player must understand why this has been, although it has been odd to see the Danish defender go from outcast to mainstay stalwart. Football is certainly a rollercoaster.
Leicester City defender will stay
Harry Souttar was asked about whether he would seek a move away from the Foxes to look for more consistent game-time, and the player was fairly candid about the situation. Surprisingly, the towering defender does not seem unhappy as yet.
"“It’s kind of a frustrating time but I can’t really complain too much because they (Leicester) are top of the league and the boys are flying”"
The defensive lineup alongside brilliant signing Mads Hermansen have been excellent in preventing chances and blocking shots. It is difficult to get into a team when so little has been going wrong: just look at our previous two losses, as Harry Winks has noted, we lost to a corner and a gorgeous free kick. The Foxes have not lost due to open-play poor defending or goals.
How would Souttar get into this besides hoping someone falls out of favour or gets injured? Even in that situation, you have Coady ahead of him in the pecking order, so the English centre-back would be included first. Despite being a great defender, the main thing Enzo Maresca wants is a passing defender, not an aerial monster.
"“But all I can do is keep my training levels up, keep my fitness levels up, and, when called upon, be ready and hopefully perform well”"
All the Australian could really do would be to train well, show the right attitude and levels, and wait for a chance. When that chance eventually comes, the player has to show what he can do as he does at international level where the CB regularly scores. It is something which we saw a glimpse of in the previous season: Souttar can use his sheer strength and height to get a headed chance on goal. That is his route into the team.
"“I definitely want to stay and fight for my place, for sure… I’ve had a good couple of conversations with the manager and he knows that whenever he needs me, I’ll be 100 per cent ready”"
I love this passion from the only January signing to remain at the club. It disappoints me that Victor Kristiansen was sent out on loan, but Souttar is an impressive defender. Leicester City need to know that the player has the right mentality: fight for the place by being at the club. After all, the ambition of the side is to return to Premier League football and when the Foxes get there they will have to use more centre-backs like Souttar to maintain good results.
There will be a time when Maresca needs to call upon our literal giant. When that time comes, I would back him all the way to come into the team, succeed, and develop as a more progressive central defender with all the same goal threat he offers. It is also worth noting, it would be better for us defensively to have Souttar in the starting XI, especially from set-pieces.