Caglar Soyuncu appears to have handed Leicester City a fitness boost at just the right time.
The Turkish defender was previously self-isolating back in his home country having tested positive whilst on international duty.
However, according to Leicestershire Live, he has now flown back to the UK and is once again in contention – his return to action coming at the best possible time with Leicester preparing for an FA Cup semi-final against Southampton, as well as continuing their battle to end the season in the Premier League top four.
It remains to be seen whether the 33-cap Turkish international will go straight back into the Foxes’ starting XI but the fact that he can be called upon will be a huge boost to Rodgers.
In the two games that the East-Midlanders have played during Soyuncu’s absence, they have lost each of those – a 2-0 reverse at the hands of Manchester City before a 3-2 loss to top-four rivals West Ham United.
That is certainly a trend that has been prominent since Soyuncu replaced Harry Maguire in the Leicester City lineup.
Since the start of the 2019/20 campaign, the defender has missed a total of 27 matches, whether that be through injury, suspension or selection. In those games, Leicester win rate ironically increases by a marginal amount.
However, it’s in their defending where they struggle most without the former Freiburg man, conceding 1.14 goals per game on average without him whilst they only ship 0.96 per match in all competitions when he plays.
That influence is certainly well noted at the club too, with Rodgers hailing his defender’s “quality”.
Not only will the returning Soyuncu have an influence on the club’s results, but he will also be hugely useful in the team’s system. He will now be able to replace Daniel Amartey in the heart of a more conventional back-three, giving Rodgers the option of partnering him with the likes of Jonny Evans and Wesley Fofana, a luxury that he has not been afforded on too many occasions throughout the campaign.
It goes without saying then that Soyuncu’s return to action is positive news all around for Leicester and it comes at the perfect time.