Date: 7th August 2012 at 8:23pm
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Who will come out on top at the centre-half position?

Nigel Pearson has made new signings at almost every position during the summer, in an attempt to stamp his name on the side and give the Foxes the best possible chance of winning promotion this season. But will these fresh faces be able to hold down a starting place in the first eleven – and, if they do, who, in turn, will miss out? Over the next week, we will look at five key position battles at the King Power Stadium as the beginning of the Championship season draws closer.

5. Ritchie De Laet v. Sean St. Ledger

This one may initially appear to be a no-brainer, as Sean St. Ledger picked up a knee injury in a pre-season friendly against Burton Albion which will sideline him for six to eight weeks. During this time, Ritchie De Laet is the obvious replacement centre-half to partner the new captain Wes Morgan at the back. Although the former Manchester United youngster has become somewhat of a wanderer over the last three years (during which time he has spent time on loan at four different clubs), Nigel Pearson will hope to solidify a reliable pairing in a defence which has uncharacteristically leaked goals over the last two seasons.

What could be interesting is whether St. Ledger will be able to re-establish himself as a starter for Leicester. He struggled to regularly make the starting eleven at the beginning of 2012, and only really did so while Sol Bamba was on international duty at the African Cup of Nations. After a challenging Euro 2012 tournament for the Republic of Ireland (although he was arguably one of the better performers on the team), and considering the strong rumours linking him with a move away from the King Power Stadium when Nigel Pearson rejoined Leicester, St. Ledger could well find himself as a squad player – especially if the Foxes initially perform well during his absence through injury. De Laet will hope to become a regular in the starting line-up and make a real name for himself at a new club after a series of loan spells.

Likely winner: Ritchie De Laet will most likely start against Peterborough next weekend, and, if he can stay injury-free, should find himself above St. Ledger in the pecking order.


5 Replies to “Position Battles: 5. De Laet v. St. Ledger”

  • I agree with your thinking but I have always got the impression that De Laet has been signed primarily as a Peltier replacement at right back. We are still in need of another centre half or two in my opinion. Especially after St Ledger’s injury. Whilst its true that De Laet would be very capable of covering, it would effectively mean that we have to play Liam Moore at right back and I don’t believe he’s ready to be a regular starter just yet.

    Another interesting position battle for you to discuss could be who will partner David Nugent this year? Vardy?

  • There’s still tentative links to Hull’s James Chester who was billed as Pelts’ replacement, but he’s a centre half aswell. People are wondering if Pearson thinks Moore is ready for a big part this season and I’d assume if we haven’t brought in another rb by then we might have our answer.

    As for your other offering, Beckford seems on fire at the moment, certainly some good competition upfront if they can all stay on form.

  • Yes I think you might be right. NP clearly thinks highly of Moore so let’s hope he does the business this year!

  • Thanks for the comments. I think De Laet’s versatility allows him to play anywhere across the back four. Initially he could be a good cover option at centre-back or a starter at right-back. I wouldn’t be surprised to see both him and Whitbread start against Peterborough in a week’s time – alongside Morgan and Konchesky. I’d also love to see Liam Moore get some more playing time this season, although he’s probably going to be utilised more as a back-up.

    I’ll be focussing on the striker’s position battle early next week – I have a couple more to write about over the weekend but I will certainly get to that!


  • Yeah you’d imagine Moore would be introduced more slowly so as not to throw him in the deep end, so De Laet’s versatility could well be the key reason he was signed. Makes more sense to have a versatile back up, who can cover 3-4 players just so squad harmony is improved with people getting more of a fair crack of the whip.

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