Leicester's Centre-Back Options for the Opening Day of the Season - Ranked

Filip Benkovic could finally start for Leicester on Sunday
Filip Benkovic could finally start for Leicester on Sunday | Michael Regan/Getty Images

We're only a few days away from the start of the season and Leicester City currently have one actual Premier League centre-back available for selection.

Admittedly it is Caglar Soyuncu, who was recently named in the 2019/2020 PFA Team of the Year, but even a defender as talented as this cannot hold things down on his own.

So where have all of his potential partners gone? Well, Jonny Evans is suspended, Wes Morgan is looking likely to miss their opener through injury and...oh, that's it. We forget how little depth Leicester have in this department.

With neither veteran stopper expected to make it back in time for their Premier League curtain raiser against West Brom, 90min donned our thinking caps to assess all the candidates to partner Soyuncu at the heart of defence.

5. Josh Knight

OH Leuven v Leicester City U23
Don't worry if you do not recognise this man | Plumb Images/Getty Images

This would certainly be the romantic's choice. Josh Knight comes from a family of die hard Leicester fans and he joined the Foxes academy aged just eight.

He's spent the last two seasons on loan at League One Peterborough, so making the step up to the Premier League would be some achievement.

Knight is also 23 years old. Now, we don't want to write him off completely, but surely if he was any good the defender would've at least had half a sniff at the Foxes first team by now?

Probably best to avoid this one.

4. Daniel Amartey

Daniel Amartey
Daniel Amartey made a few Champions League appearances for Leicester | James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

Daniel Amartey...that's a name we haven't heard for some time. Joining Leicester in January 2015 is surely the best decision the Ghanaian has ever made?

Not only did he scoop a Premier League winners medal, he also got a few run outs in the Champions League the following season. He had a good spell in the team under Claude Puel in 2017 but a nasty injury then saw him fall off the radar. His last Foxes appearances came all the way back in 2018, surely that won't change on Sunday?

Then again, he has played three games at centre-back during his career, which ridiculously, makes him one of the more likely candidates to partner Soyuncu.

3. Wilfred Ndidi

FBL-ENG-PR-LEICESTER-MAN UTD
Leicester would miss Ndidi in midfield if the Nigerian was forced to fill in | OLI SCARFF/Getty Images

Coming in at number three is a player who has featured at centre-back on one more occasion than Amartey, Wilfred Ndidi.

Although needs must and all that, moving the Nigerian to the heart of defence is a terrible idea.

Whenever Ndidi was absent for the Foxes last season, they sacrificed an extraordinary amount of solidity in midifield. Unless Hamza Choudhury has suddenly developed some defensive discipline over lockdown, Leicester should look elsewhere to plug their defensive hole.

2. James Justin

James Justin
James Justin enjoyed a run in the team at the end of last season | Pool/Getty Images

James Justin was one of the few Leicester players to come out of that post-lockdown run of fixtures with his pride in tact.

While many of his defensive counterparts were buckling under the pressure, the former Luton Town man was a steady presence on the right side of defence.

Justin also played as part of a back three and while this is obviously different to operating at the heart of a back four, it's better experience than many of the other options have.

Moving him centre-back would likely see new signing Timothy Castagne fill in at right-back. Prospect Luke Thomas is also set to start on the left due to Christian Fuchs injury. This would leave a Foxes back four with an average age of just 22. Gulp

1. Filip Benkovic

Filip Benkovic
Benkovic may finally get his chance at Leicester | James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

Filip Benkovic and Soyuncu may have both been signed on transfer deadline day in 2018 but since then, their Leicester careers have taken widely different paths.

While the latter has carved out a reputation as one of the best young centre-back on the planet, Benkovic has struggled to establish himself at the King Power Stadium.

Impressing out on loan to Celtic during the 2018/2019 campaign - where he made 23 appearances for current Foxes boss Brendan Rodgers - the Croat was widely expected to fill the void left by Harry Maguire's departure last season.

Instead that particular spot was taken by Soyuncu, with Benkovic instead spending the campaign struggling at Bristol City. On Sunday, the 23-year-old should finally get his chance to impress.

If he can make half as good an impression as Soyuncu did during Leicester's opening day draw with Wolves last season, concerns about the Foxes' injury crisis will soon subside.