An unsuccessful Europa League campaign has seen Leicester City relegated to a maiden lower tier competition, the Europa Conference League.
In the 25-man lists to be submitted, UEFA states that at least four should be products of the club’s academy, which leaves Brendan Rodgers with a tough choice as his earlier list A only had three; Choudhury, Dewsbury-Hall and Barnes.
It is worse for the players, though, since they don’t know which one of the 22 who weren’t club trained was excluded from Rodgers’ already submitted name list.
Benkovic left, so his spot would have been taken by either James Justin or Wesley Fofana who are both club-trained, but Rodgers most probably included both first-teamers in his list.
That leaves the question of who among the earlier chosen won’t line up for the Conference League, which commences in a fortnight.
The Irish manager has 22 options to choose from, the most likely being Jonny Evans, Ryan Bertrand, and Eldin Jakupovic.
Evans has been out injured for months and is expected to not feature until April when the competition will be nearing the semis.
It could have been easy to exclude him, but the 34-year old’s experience will be needed if Leicester makes it that far.
Brendan can also drop goalkeeper Jakupovic because two is enough according to the rules. However, the Foxes’ coach normally goes with three goalies and is unlikely to leave the Bosnian out.
The likely option, therefore, is full-back Ryan Bertrand, who had knee surgery just a few days ago, hence an unknown return date.
Moreover, including James Justin would mean he’ll work with the likes of Pereira, Castagne, and Albrighton in defence, so Bertrand’s absence won’t necessarily cause City any trouble.
With the list already submitted, only the following announcement will reveal who was “sacrificed.”