Sports News of Saturday, 29 July 2017
Ghana defender Daniel Amartey is pushing for a starting berth role for Leicester City in the forthcoming campaign after a blistering pre-season performance.
The 22-year-old has been ever-present in the Foxes line-up in their five pre-season friendly games and many pundits have tipped the versatile defender to lock down a starting berth when the new season kicks off on August 11th.
Amartey, who was purchased from Danish outfit FC Copenhagen in 2016 by former manager Claudio Ranieri and it took him about two-months to hit the ground running.
But when the former Inter Allies hit his stride, he became an undisputed starter at the right back position before he was whisked away on an international duty with Ghana at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon.
Upon his return from the tournament, he found it tough to displace Danny Simpson at the right back position. But he was presented with another opportunity when summer signing Nampalys Mendy suffered a long-term injury and he was moved to the centre of the park as his replacement, which he initially struggled but later made it his bonafide property but as results were not forthcoming, Ranieri was shown the exit and replaced with his assistant, Craig Shakespear, who steadied the ship up until the end of the season where they finished in 12th position.
Amartey found first team opportunities hard to come by under Shakespeare as he Nigerian international Wilfred Ndidi was preferred in the position and Simpson at right back.
Nevertheless, the Ghanaian has won over Leicester fans with his assured displays in the team’s pre-season friendly games so far, starting three and playing substitute role in one while missing the game against Wolves on Saturday with a slight knock.
He made 25 appearances and scored one goal in all competitions for the Foxes last term.