Ever since the departure of Harry Maguire in the summer of 2019, the spotlight in the Leicester City defence has been transfixed on Çağlar Söyüncü. And, at first, he took to that spotlight like the main protagonist in a Shakespeare play; he quickly became one of the better centre-backs in the Premier League in the eyes of many; some even used his form as a stick to poke £80 million Maguire with. Two years later, however, and things look a little different for the aforementioned pair.
In a way, they’ve completed switched in stature. Harry Maguire is recognised by many as England’s best centre-back under Gareth Southgate and one of the best the Premier League has to offer. Meanwhile, Çağlar Söyüncü is quickly verging onto the overrated side of fan opinion, which is like the no man’s land of the beautiful game.
Suddenly, Söyüncü has gone from a trustworthy, dominant, wise defender to a clumsy, chaotic, easily fooled shadow of his former self. In football terms, he has gone from the ilk of Nemanja Vidic to a player increasingly similar to Martin Skrtel, which is not a good thing. The question is, how and why has his form plummeted so dramatically?
Poor Form of Çağlar Söyüncü Reiterates Jonny Evan’s Leicester City Importance
Mistake After Mistake
A mistake to hand West Ham United a goal in a 4-1 defeat, giving away a penalty against Norwich City in a narrow victory, given his marching orders in a 6-1 defeat for Turkey against Netherlands, Çağlar Söyüncü has had an abysmal start to the season. And this comes when Leicester need him at his best.
Three games into the season, the Foxes are without Jonny Evans, Wesley Fofana and newcomer Jannik Vestergaard, leaving Brendan Rodgers with just one natural central defender. The biggest problem here, however, is that his one natural centre-back is in the worst form of his life. In situations such as this, Söyüncü needs to be at his dominant, commanding best. He can’t be erratic, unreliable and mistake-prone.
Without Jonny Evans, it’s almost as if Söyüncü has been abandoned and left to fend for himself by his guardian; it’s like somebody has taken Captain America’s shield and serum away, leaving a meagre, weak and vulnerable man. Questions were posed about the Turk’s ability to lead without his partner last season, and now it seems as though those questions have been answered.
Place at Risk?
If Brendan Rodgers wants to finally take this Leicester side into the top four, then he must make the brutal decisions. He needs to ask himself, when Evans and Vestergaard return, does Çağlar Söyüncü still have a place in the first 11? Can he really justify the defender’s selection after his woeful start to the campaign? Better yet, when Fofana recovers next year, will he slip down into the unwanted depths of the squad?
Only time will tell whether the answers to those questions leave Söyüncü back at square one under Rodgers. One thing we do know, however, is that, for the sake of the Foxes, the defender must turn his season around.
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