Brendan Rodgers realistic about top-six hopes after lack of summer signings

·3-min read

Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers admitted his top-six hopes are severely diminished after budget constraints have resulted in just a single summer signing.

Former Cardiff keeper Alex Smithies, who on Friday joined the Foxes for two years on a free transfer, is the lone new addition to Rodgers’ squad so far.

Rodgers readily acknowledged his situation was in pronounced contrast to the new-look Arsenal side who beat Leicester 4-2 on Saturday.

“It obviously feels a little strange not to be signing anyone,” he said. “However I understand the predicament the club is in, so from that I can’t then get too down and too disappointed about it. The reality is there, we’ve been unable to do any business.

“It’s just unfortunate because I’m an ambitious coach, I want to challenge at the top end of the table. That’s why I came here, in order to disrupt the market like I’ve said before, to be up there. But for that you need to constantly evolve and improve.

“I respect the club, I trust the club, and if we can’t do it then of course my focus purely goes onto the players that we have and try to maximise their potential.

“That’s it. There’s no point in crying about it, you’ve just got to get on with it. I drive into work every single day, I love the club. The training ground is amazing, I work with a really honest bunch of players that give me everything.

“So I can’t complain. I obviously want the club to be up there fighting and challenging for European football, top where we’ve been for a few years, but that’s going to take investment, and if we can’t do that than I also have to be realistic as well.”

Leicester finished fifth in both the 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons but just missed out on European football with an eighth-place finish last term.

Wesley Fofana
Leicester’s Wesley Fofana has been linked to a Chelsea move (Mike Egerton/PA)

Rodgers’ reality check could prove even more prescient if rumours of a potential Wesley Fofana move to Chelsea come true before the transfer window closes on September 1.

Meanwhile, the impact of key winger Harvey Barnes’ absence from the squad with a knee injury has compounded Rodgers’ problems, forcing him to reconsider his tactics.

He added: “Because we don’t have the wingers, that means we’re restricted on what you can do in the game.

Watford v Leicester City – Premier League – Vicarage Road
Harvey Barnes’ ongoing injury woes have compounded Leicester’s problems (Jonathan Brady/PA)

“But over the three years I’ve been here we’ve been flexible enough in our system. Our principles are always the same but the systems have changed. You could see that they’re comfortable in the systems they play but when you don’t have wingers you can’t play 4-3-3.

“He’s one of our top players. You’ve seen exactly what we were trying to do over the course of pre-season, five weeks, and then you take him out and the whole game-plan changes.”