Leicester City left-back Ben Chilwell has backed Caglar Soyuncu to become a top-class defender this season. The 23-year-old was thrown in at the deep end this season after stepping into the Foxes first team to replace Harry Maguire.
Maguire formed a formidable partnership with Jonny Evans last season, but he left the King Power Stadium to join Manchester United for £80million during the summer.
Boss Brendan Rodgers showed no signs of panic and forgoed signing a defender as he splashed out on other areas of his squad, with Youri Tielemans, Ayoze Perez and Dennis Praet all moving to the former Premier League champions.
His decision to put faith in his squad has paid off, with the Foxes unbeaten so far this season.
Leicester opened the campaign with back-to-back draws against Wolves and Chelsea, but they have since beaten Sheffield United and Bournemouth.
Rodgers’ side went into the international break third in the Premier League, and Soyuncu has already been singled out by the Northern Irishman.
The Turkish defender has shown tremendous maturity at just 23, and he and Evans look like keeping their spots for the rest of the season.
Wes Morgan and Filip Benkovic are now having to wait in the wings, and Chilwell says Soyuncu can continue to improve under Rodgers’ management.
He told the Leicester Mercury: “They were massive boots to fill with Harry leaving, but he has done brilliantly and was arguably one of our best players for the first four games of the season. “He has everything a good centre-back should have. He is quick and strong and good on the ball. He’s composed. He has everything you need to be a good centre-back and is showing he is.”
After arriving from Freiburg in 2018, Soyuncu has had to be patient, but he now looks set to play a key role in Leicester’s defence.
He has already earned 24 caps for Turkey, and he will be hoping to help Leicester secure European football this season.
The Foxes missed out last year, and their credentials will be tested in the coming weeks as they prepare to face Manchester United and Tottenham.