Eyes on Gakpo and Madueke: “Understandable that Leicester is interested”

PSV awaits a great challenge on Thursday in the Conference League match with Leicester City. Especially for Cody Gakpo and Noni Madueke, it is an opportunity to show themselves against a Premier League club, British sports journalist Rob Tanner told VoetbalPrimeur.

Leicester has become the main challenger to the established order in England in recent years, with the 2016 league title as the highlight. This season, the team of manager Brendan Rodgers has it a little more difficult with a provisional tenth place in the Premier League. “But if you look at their annual sales and budget, they’re in about ninth place. They’re in a realistic place now and it shows how they’ve outperformed in recent years,” said Tanner, who follow the club closely for The Athletic

“An important factor in this lesser season is the number of injuries they have faced,” explains Tanner. “At one point they missed as many as seventeen players due to injuries, illness and Covid. It is only now that many players return. However, Wilfred Ndidi and Jamie Vardy are still missing.” The defensive midfielder and striker are usually important pawns in Rodgers’ formation. “Without Vardy, they will miss their main offensive weapon. Although he is now 35, he had another strong season until he injured his hamstring first and now his knee. players up.”

Tanner mentions the names of tastemaker James Maddison, Harvey Barnes and Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall. “Maddison has been in great form lately, while Barnes has been doing really well on the left, with goals and assists. Another youth product, considered the player of the season by Rodgers, is Luke Thomas, who is returning from a hamstring injury. “They need to maintain their good form against a strong PSV. A lack of experience against a team used to playing in Europe could be a problem for Leicester.”

Leicester’s line-up has few surprises. Even the lack of Vardy can be made up for by Rodgers. “In Europe, Patson Daka is the club’s top scorer, his appearance most closely resembles that of Vardy. Nevertheless, Kelechi Iheanacho is probably the first striker against PSV.” Also have in the back The Foxes things are back in order, as proved last weekend’s 1-1 draw against Manchester United. “Jonny Evans and Wesley Fofana have both returned from long-term injuries. They are the first choice in the center back.”

James Maddison celebrates a goal

In England, however, the encounter with PSV is not taken lightly. “We expect a similar challenge as against Stade Rennes in the previous round.” Leicester won 2-0 at home against the French, but had to pull out all the stops and lost 2-1. “PSV is an attacking team that scores easily, so Leicester will have to arm themselves defensively, something that did not go well this season in large periods,” says Tanner.

“We know that PSV has a good team technically, like all Dutch clubs. They will try to hold the ball and strike as soon as the moment comes. But Leicester will put high pressure and try to force a mistake in dangerous situations. “Part of the field, so that they can take advantage if PSV are not in position. It looks like it will be an exciting game, I think the teams are pretty evenly matched. It comes down to who makes the best use of the opportunities.”

Madueke and Gakpo
The eyes in the King Power Stadium will be on Madueke, among other things, when the twenty-year-old attacker appears at the kick-off. “There is a lot of talk in England about Noni Madueke and he has even been linked with Leicester in recent months. He has shown that there is another route for young English talents, which Premier League clubs don’t get in. Just like “Jadon Sancho has forged Madueke’s own career by moving to PSV and doing well there. It is understandable that Leicester are interested as they are looking for another attacking midfielder or winger for next season.”

Gakpo can also hand over his business card on Thursday. “He’s been getting a lot of attention because of the interest from Liverpool and especially Arsenal. He seems like a great talent. He’s tall for a winger and seems to have the physical ability to do well in England. We know he’s technically good enough In addition, he will also have to have the right mentality, and the urge to run and work, because the Premier League differs from other competitions in terms of intensity. You have to be ready physically and mentally,” concludes Tanner.

PSV kicks off against Leicester City on Thursday at 9 p.m. Dutch time. The return in Eindhoven is seven days later and starts at 6.45 pm.

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