Brendan Rodgers Explains Islam Slimani Europa League Squad Omission

Oct 23, 2020, 1:00 PM GMT+1
Islam Slimani
Leicester City v Aston Villa - Premier League | James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images
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Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers has revealed why striker Islam Slimani hasn't been included in the Foxes' Europa League squad.

After failing to secure a move away in the summer, Slimani was handed a second chance to impress the King Power faithful following an injury to last season’s Golden Boot winner, Jamie Vardy.

The Algerian was a second-half substitute in Leicester City’s narrow 1-0 defeat at home to Aston Villa on Sunday, in what was his first Foxes appearance in over two years - more than 1,000 days.

A 2-0 FA Cup replay win over Fleetwood Town in January 2018 was the striker's last involvement before spells on loan at fellow Premier League side Newcastle United, Turkish giants Fenerbahce and French outfit Monaco - the striker averaging a goal every other game for the latter.

Islam Slimani
Slimani netting against FC Copenhagen in the Champions League | Michael Regan/Getty Images

However, despite some impressive European performances for City previously, including a couple of bullet headers in the Champions League, Slimani’s chances under Rodgers will now be restricted to domestic football only, after the Northern Irishman omitted the 32-year-old from his Europa League squad.

Speaking to BBC Leicester, Rodgers said: “The squad had to be handed in much earlier than the Premier League squad. Unfortunately, we thought he [Slimani] was going out [on loan again]. That’s the reason why [he isn’t in UEL squad].”

That's that, then.

Rodgers also hinted at a Vardy return for his side’s Premier League clash at Arsenal this weekend, meaning if Slimani is to get a chance he may have to wait a while longer with Kelechi Iheanacho also seemingly ahead of him in the striking pecking order.

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