Brendan Rodgers believes Patson Daka is ready to kick on in the Premier League after revealing the steps the striker has been taking to integrate himself at Leicester City.
Leicester beat off plenty of competition to sign Daka from RB Salzburg in the summer. They are being patient with his progress, but signs of excitement are starting to emerge. For example, he scored his first Premier League goal last weekend, before netting four in the Europa League in midweek.
The Zambia international recently turned 23 and seems to have a bright future ahead of him. Competing for a place with Jamie Vardy and Kelechi Iheanacho, he will be eager to prove his worth to Leicester.
Rodgers has been sharing his enthusiasm for the striker already and continued to do so ahead of Leicester’s visit to Brentford on Sunday.
“He’ll certainly be involved,” Rodgers confirmed. “We’ve tried to manage the team and our strikers, keeping Jamie fresh for the Premier League and bringing in him for the latter stages of Europe. Kelechi is a consistent performer now.
“Patson, we wanted to give him time. He’s had an amazing week; it was an incredible individual achievement. We are in a great position in that part of the field, whichever way we want to work it.”
Daka has a good teammate to learn from in the shape of Vardy, but Rodgers revealed he has been immersing himself with the club in various ways.
“His strengths are what you saw the other night,” the coach continued. “He plays on the shoulder, wants to run in behind, and he’s a natural goalscorer – he has confidence he can score.
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“He is in a great position to learn from Jamie. Even without speaking, he’s learning from his movements. His energy around the place.
“When he had to do his quarantine, the club were great in terms of offering him tellies, Playstations, but he didn’t want anything, he just wanted books to learn about Leicester. His game will improve. He has the ability to sniff out a goal.”
Rodgers provides Leicester injury updates
Leicester will not be taking a full squad to Brentford on Sunday due to some remaining injury issues.
Rodgers revealed where some of his absentees are at in terms of the road to recovery.
“[Marc] Albrighton who had a horrendous challenge on him in the game, so he’s probably going to be two to three weeks out,” he said.
“[Timothy] Castagne should be okay. We’ll just take him through tomorrow.
“Ayoze [Perez] wasn’t feeling great but looked good in training today. James Justin will start training with the group. Wilf [Ndidi] isn’t too far away, but we’re looking ahead to the next international break.”
Someone who has been working his way back into a rhythm for Leicester is Jonny Evans. The defender was carrying an injury towards the start of the season.
But Rodgers provided a positive update regarding the centre-back, who has made five appearances so far this term.
“He’s coping and managing very well. He had a little bit of soreness towards the end of the game with his lower back. He’s recovered well so far and will hopefully be fit and available.”
The last player whose availability Rodgers addressed was midfielder Youri Tielemans. The Belgian went off in the second half of the win over Spartak Moscow in midweek.
“He had a spasm towards his lower back. He looks fine. He’s on a recovery work today with the medical team, but he looks fine.”