The next position battle focuses on Leicester City’s central midfield, where it would appear that Nigel Pearson has considerable depth to select from.
3. Matty James v. Danny Drinkwater
The position battle in the centre of midfield is likely to extend further than just these two players – throw Neil Danns, Andy King and Richie Wellens into the mix, and you have five more capable first-team starters. With Wellens sidelined until September or October after suffering an injury to his cruciate knee ligament, Nigel Pearson is likely to rotate his central midfield players to keep them fresh throughout the season – but it’ll certainly be interesting to see who gets the nod more often out of these two former Manchester United youngsters.
Matty James and Danny Drinkwater were both signed by Nigel Pearson, which makes it difficult to conclude who the manager would prefer to start. Pre-season will have been telling for Pearson, but Drinkwater did make nineteen starts for Leicester after signing from Barnsley in January this year, and make a notable contribution during the final four months of the Foxes’ Championship campaign. Matty James, like Drinkwater, began his career at Manchester United, however he has received limited first-team football to date (James spent two loan spells at Preston North End in 2010 and 2011). However, a few years ago, the same also applied to Tom Cleverley, and he played a big part in Leicester’s promotion back to the Championship and has since played more regularly for Manchester United while impressing during the Olympics for Team GB.
Likely winner: While the midfield is likely to be rotated on a regular basis by Nigel Pearson, Danny Drinkwater is will probably start more matches in the middle than Matty James this season, especially at the beginning of the season with Richie Wellens injured. That being said, James’ versatility also allows him to play in defence, which means that he could provide cover at the back.