Whilst Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to Manchester City was a blow to Leicester City, they were also dealt gutting news on the fitness of Caglar Soyuncu following the game.
Having seen his defender leave for international duty with Turkey during the break, Foxes boss Brendan Rodgers revealed that the 24-year-old had tested positive for coronavirus.
The news will of course be concerning in regard to his health but will also be bad news for Rodgers’ squad as they aim to navigate a few key fixtures on two fronts.
With those testing positive instructed to self-isolate for a minimum of ten days, this would keep Soyuncu out of next weekend’s vital meeting with West Ham United – a game that could see Leicester strengthen their hold on a top-four position.
Meanwhile, the Foxes then have an FA Cup semi-final meeting with Southampton to consider and depending on how Soyuncu recovers, should he be showing symptoms, he may also miss that game too.
Whilst Leicester have a solid defensive partnership in Wesley Fofana and Jonny Evans to call upon, with Daniel Amartey being a reserve, Soyuncu’s influence on Leicester cannot be understated.
It comes as another devastating blow as the central defensive colossus missed nearly two months of the campaign with an abductor problem back in October.
With the Turk in the side, Leicester have managed to accumulate an impressive 62% win percentage this season. However, in matches where he has been unavailable throughout what has been a frustrating personal campaign on the injury front, that drops to just 50%.
He had played every minute in each of the Foxes’ last eight league games, sustaining just one defeat in that time – a 3-1 reverse at the hands of Arsenal.
This impact alone then could potentially see Leicester’s claim for a top-four position come the end of the campaign falter once again.
Hailed as “fantastic” by Rodgers for his performances since he arrived at the club, the Northern Irishman will certainly be feeling the blow of Soyuncu being ruled out for at least the next few weeks.