Leicester City are a club who can’t seem to stop churning out exciting prospects from Ben Chilwell to Harvey Barnes, and another name who could be within a chance of first-team football next season is Romanian defender Alexandru Pascanu.
The 20-year-old centre-back, who can also play at right-back, has been an important figure in Leicester’s development teams for the good part of two seasons, first making a name for himself in the UEFA Youth League where he scored in the Foxes’ only win of the competition, a 3-2 win against FC Copenhagen.
Pascanu would make 30 appearances across the U-18s and U-23s that season, in doing so winning the Academy Player of the Season award for the 2016/17 campaign, and since then the elegant defender has gone from strength to strength.
The 20-year-old is yet to make his senior team debut for Leicester, so his real success has come from his performances with the Romania U-21 side, where in qualification for the upcoming U-21 Euros, he started every game for a nation that went undefeated in qualifying for the tournament.
What is even more impressive is that not only did Romania concede just four goals in the 11 games that sealed their ticket to Italy for the finals, the joint lowest of any team in qualifying, but that they finished ahead of the likes of Portugal, Switzerland and Wales, and Pascanu was one of the main reasons for this incredible accomplishment.
At 6 foot 1, Pascanu’s height doesn’t make him the tallest of central defenders, but his intelligence and control on the ball has made him such a standout performer for club and country at youth level, as well as his ability to win the ball back with pace and explosive power.
With Harry Maguire the subject of interest from some of the Premier League’s wealthiest, Brendan Rodgers could roll the dice and take a risk with Pascanu, continuing Leicester’s trend of looking from within for talent. After such a good few seasons, the Romanian defender could potentially step up to the plate.
This summer’s tournament in Italy could well be Pascanu’s opportunity to really make a name for himself and force his way into Rodgers’ consideration. But one thing is for sure, this is a talented young player Leicester fans should be keeping their eye on throughout the U21 European Championships.