Leicester City travel to the Amex Stadium to face Brighton on Saturday evening, and the match could be the perfect time for Brendan Rodgers to blood an exciting youngster.
Sidnei Tavares has been afforded a couple of brief cameos in recent weeks, appearing off the bench in both the UEFA Europa League and Premier League.
He was introduced late on in Leicester’s last league outing – the 1-1 draw against Burnley at Turf Moor – but it’s now time for his first start.
With Leicester having suffered a plethora of injury woes this season, they have been limited in their options in midfield.
Dennis Praet was ruled out long-term following an injury picked up against Stoke City, whilst James Maddison has also recently been restricted to the sidelines with a hip problem. Ayoze Perez could have deputised but he too has been ruled out.
That means Leicester have been relying on Youri Tielemans. The Belgian midfielder has played in all but two of Leicester’s games in all competitions this season. The last time he didn’t appear was in a 1-0 defeat to Zorya Luhansk way back at the start of December.
Should Sidnei Tavares start against Brighton?
Of course, the midfielder has been one of the Foxes’ most reliable players this season, posting their third-highest WhoScored average match rating – hence why he has been selected so much by Rodgers.
However, Portugal underage international Tavares could help take the burden off of the former AS Monaco man’s shoulders.
Traditionally an attacking midfielder, he has solid statistics in the Foxes’ youth ranks, netting 12 goals and providing six assists in appearances for various age groups.
His talent has certainly been noticed in recent years, too. Barcelona have been rumoured to be considering a move for the midfielder, whilst Foxes manager Brendan Rodgers said recently that he has “big potential”.
After all, the east Midlanders have enjoyed plenty of success with their youth ranks in recent years, with the likes of Harvey Barnes, Ben Chilwell, Hamza Choudhury and Luke Thomas all breaking into the firs team squad.
Should Rodgers elect to give Tielemans a well-earned rest against Brighton this weekend, Tavares could well be the perfect replacement and also potentially become the next star off of the King Power Stadium production line.