When Christian Fuchs signed a new one-year extension with Leicester last May, Brendan Rodgers admitted he previously had doubts.
But his decision to stay has been vindicated and at times, he’s proven to be a valuable member of the squad.
Rodgers hailed the Austrian as outstanding earlier this campaign after he stepped up in the absence of Ben Chilwell, but despite being the Foxes’ number two at left-back, the pair have displayed that they can, in fact, play together.
Against Newcastle on New Year’s day, Leicester operated with a three-man backline, bringing wing-backs into the equation.
Chilwell played in an advanced role while Fuchs was left to play in an unfamiliar position as a centre-half.
However, he used all of his experience to spring a mini-revival in his Leicester career. Fuchs was found guilty of diving in against West Ham but in a role next to Caglar Soyuncu and Jonny Evans, he thrived.
Describing his performance, Leicester journalist Jordan Blackwell commented: “Excellent,” before adding, “he showed fantastic anticipation, strength and determination on the left of the three centre-backs.”
Fuchs’ attitude and commitment to the cause has been unquestionable throughout his stay at the King Power and this was the latest example of that.
With all that said, there would have been fears over whether he’d start on a regular basis again. Such was Leicester’s desire to play with four in defence, it was hard to ever see him replacing Chilwell, someone who has now become a regular in the England set-up.
However, now well into his 30s, Fuchs could become the latest player to truly benefit from Rodgers’ coaching and methods.
Many have in the past, including Daniel Sturridge at Liverpool, who scored 21 goals in one term under the manager.
A considerable haul of trophies at Celtic would have done the same for a host of players in Scotland. Most notably players like Moussa Dembele and Kieran Tierney who went onto move to major European leagues after learning from his stewardship.
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But they were players in the infant stages of their careers. Fuchs, instead, could be a different success story altogether.
A three-man defence has breathed fresh life into his Foxes career rather unexpectedly and it could just be something that prolongs his time at the club.
The left-back’s contract expires in the summer but more performances like this and the potential of another campaign in the Champions League could convince him to stay.