Liecester City

Enzo Maresca makes vow over Leicester City youngsters as 10 given chance to earn squad place

New Foxes manager staying true to his word by checking out development squad players who could become part of first team

Wanya Marcal-Madivadua is among the young players who have been in first-team training at Leicester City under Enzo Maresca
Enzo Maresca is running the rule over Leicester City’s best young talents to see if they can step up to his Championship squad.

The new manager, who was praised for his work in developing Manchester City’s up-and-comers, has welcomed a handful of prospects from the development squad into first-team training over the course of the first week of pre-season. They will look to catch the eye of the Italian as he builds a team capable of securing promotion back to the Premier League.

A few of the young players returned to Seagrave alongside their senior colleagues on Monday for the first team’s opening day of testing, while others have been called up to join them having been back at City’s headquarters since last week.

A total of 10 development squad players have so far been spotted. They are goalkeepers Jakub Stolarczyk and Brad Young, centre-backs Lewis Brunt, Ben Nelson and Tom Wilson-Brown, midfielder Zach Booth, attacking midfielders/wingers Kasey McAteer, Tawanda Maswanhise and Wanya Marcal-Madivadua, and striker George Hirst.

It is perhaps not a surprise that most of those involved are centre-backs, central midfielders, or wingers as they are the three areas where City are looking to strengthen before the season begins next month. If any can convince Maresca, it will save the club dipping into the transfer market.

Asked about the possibility of promoting young players to his first team, Maresca said at his press conference on Monday: “Absolutely, yeah, there’s no doubt about this. They had already mentioned to me that some of them are quite good, so we’re going to see them, we’re going to test them and if they are really good, we’ll keep them and give them an opportunity to join our squad.”

However, Maresca does not yet have the opportunity to assess two of City’s most highly-rated talents. Attacking midfielder Will Alves and deep-lying midfielder Sammy Braybrooke are both still on the comeback trail from ACL injuries suffered in the winter.

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