Rodgers explains why Tielemans was dropped v Southampton
Youri Tielemans has not been at his best for “a couple of months”, Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers said when explaining why the midfielder was dropped for the 2-1 defeat to Southampton.
Rodgers said before the meeting with the Saints that Tielemans needed a rest, and the City manager followed through, selecting Hamza Choudhury, Dennis Praet and James Maddison in his midfield three on Saturday, with the £32m record signing left on the bench.
Tielemans has not registered a goal or an assist in his last 10 City appearances, a run that stretches back to early November, and Rodgers was forthright in saying the Belgian had not been at his peak.
“I felt over the last period of time that he’s looked tired in his game,” Rodgers said after the 2-1 defeat to Southampton, in which Tielemans played the final 13 minutes.
“We’ve got a lot of young players that are technical players. With all the players, you try to explain [why they’re being left out]. Of course, you can’t explain every single game, but he understands where he’s at.
“We know the level he can reach when he’s at the top of his game. Over probably the last couple of months, he’s not quite been at that. But he’s still a big talent for us.
“[Saturday] was a game for him to come out of and recover, and look at one or two things. We need him and all the other players for the season.”
Tielemans’ countryman Praet took on the midfield role alongside Maddison, scoring his first goal for City as one of the few outfield players to come away from the game with any credit.Leicester City latest
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As a result, Rodgers has a selection dilemma ahead of this weekend’s trip to Burnley.
Asked how Tielemans responded to being left out of the side, Rodgers said: “He listened to what I had to say when we spoke and you’re then making the decision as the manager.
“Dennis came in and scored his goal and was very good."