It'll be exactly a year this Wednesday wince Jonny Evans and Caglar Soyuncu played their first game together, a Carabao Cup fourth rounder against Southampton.


The match itself passed by without much comment - and quite rightly, as well. A 0-0 draw between two Premier League sides in a second rate domestic cup was never destined to attract many column inches, even if Leicester did eventually settle the tie via a penalty shootout.


Evans' proclamation to the Leicester Mercury at the end of the game that Soyuncu was 'the future of the club without a doubt', was also largely lost in the annals of footballing history, which is unfortunate - particularly for Pep Guardiola.

Perhaps if the ​Manchester City manager had been listening to the Northern Irishman's prophecy, his side's defensive problems - which they are reportedly attempting to remedy by throwing ​obscene amounts of money at both Foxes defenders - could have dealt with before they had even began.


He wasn't listening though, and City's loss has been Leicester's gain, with Evans and Soyuncu emerging as the best centre-back pairing in the ​Premier League so far this campaign.


It's sensational not just because the pair play for a side who finished ninth last season, but also because of the less than straightforward footballing journeys that the two players have been on in recent seasons.

Jonny Evans

After being encouraged to depart ​Manchester United by Louis van Gaal - a move that Sir Alex Ferguson found very surprising - Evans was snapped up by West Bromwich Albion manager Tony Pulis.


It was quite the coup, with the defender putting in a string of eye-catching performances that kept the Baggies well away from the relegation zone.


His fine form even attracted genuine interest from Manchester City at the time, with Guardiola having two bids rejected for West Brom's star man during the 2017 summer transfer window.

Jonny Evans

After this, things started to fall apart. The Baggies - under the management of the divisive and occasionally dancing Alan Pardew - endured a horrific season, the nadir of which came when Evans was embroiled in a hotel prank gone wrong during a team getaway in Spain.


West Brom were relegated and a clause in his contract relating to this eventuality allowed Leicester to snap him up for just £3.5m.


He was not the only centre-back the Foxes would recruit that summer, with Filip Benkovic and Soyuncu both being brought in prior to the start of the 2018/2019 campaign.


Although it is hard to imagine now, the Turkish international seemed a million miles away from breaking into the first team during his inaugural season in the east Midlands.

Caglar Soyuncu

A number of high-profile errors, combined with communication issues due to his lack of English, saw Soyuncu portrayed as someone not to be trusted in a combat situation. All in all, he made just six appearances in the league as talk of a loan move dominated the majority of the discourse about the defender.


The depth of this mistrust is perhaps revealed by the amount of enquiries that Leicester made for various centre-backs after the sale of Harry Maguire had been finalised.


Feelers were put out regarding the availability of Nathan Ake, James Tarkowski and Lewis Dunk, with the Foxes quoted astronomical fees for all three players, which meant that Soyuncu started Leicester's season opener against Wolves largely by accident.

Caglar Soyuncu,Raul Jimenez

Alongside him was Evans. It was the first time the pair had started together since that game against Southampton, not that you could tell. The pair instantly clicked and did not put a foot wrong against an imposing Wolves strikeforce.


The performance turned out to be a sign of things to come, as at the time of writing Leicester have the single best defensive record in Europe's top leagues after Atletico Madrid conceded against Granada on Saturday evening.


How has this happened? How have a seemingly regressing Premier League stalwart and a Lord Farquhar-resembling Turkish maniac managed to strike up such an instant rapport.

They say opposites attract, and in this case the pair's contrasting defensive attributes have inexplicably fused to create one of the most solid defensive partnerships in world football.


Soyuncu is an exuberant character, somewhat in the mould of David Luiz. Whenever he plays, expect Cruyff turns in his own box, nutmegs of opposition forwards and yes, perhaps the occasional overly enthusiastic error.


Evans, by contract, is calmness personified. A Rolls Royce defender who has played in Champions League games at Old Trafford and in crucial Premier League title deciders, nothing seems to faze the Northern Irishman - not even playing with someone as unpredictable as Soyuncu.

Jonny Evans,Ben Chilwell

The younger of the pairing is also more frequently tasked with one-to-one duels with attackers, while Evans prefers to drop off using his sound positioning and organisational abilities to falter attacks before they can start.


The Northern Irishman is also probably better in the air, while Soyuncu is better equipped to mop up any balls that stray beyond the defensive line due to his superior pace - which is reflected in his much higher clearance numbers.

Ben Chilwell,Caglar Soyuncu

Why they might have appeared an unlikely combination three months ago, Leicester's dynamic defensive duo are a key reason why the Foxes look set to defy the odds again this season by securing a Champions League place.


Evans was half-right. Soyuncu is the future of the Leicester City team. But, what he failed to identify is that he is too.


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