Rogers explains why Patson Daka starts

Where Patson Daka is one of the best in the league – and why he doesn’t always need to score

The Leicester City striker has started in all of the club’s last six away games and he begins to take on a more prominent role with Jamie Vardy’s career winding down

Patson Daka is one of the best defensive forwards in the Premier League, manager Brendan Rodgers believes, and that is why he is Leicester City’s away-day striker.

Daka started ahead of Jamie Vardy at West Ham on Saturday, the sixth straight away match in which he has been preferred to the club’s talismanic number nine. Vardy has led the line on the road since the 2-1 defeat to Chelsea in late August.

At home, it’s a different story, with Daka starting just once, the 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace. Otherwise, Vardy has been preferred. It means, with 15 games played, Vardy has started eight times with Daka in the line-up for seven, the baton slowly being handed to the Zambian.

Nearly 12 years Vardy’s junior, Daka has speed, energy, and intensity to press hard. Away from home, where City are not likely to have as much possession, that is more important.

Rodgers believes Daka’s running has been one of the reasons why City’s form has turned in recent weeks. It is also why the 24-year-old does not need to score every game, Daka going into the World Cup break on the back of six games without a goal.

“The whole intention is to make sure we’re pressing and being really aggressive in the game,” Rodgers said, explaining his selection. “Patson, I would say, is one of the top defensive strikers in the league.

“That is so important in any team of mine. He doesn’t necessarily always need to be the one scoring goals, but that element is critical to how we’ve got back to our level, and it’s the fabric of what my teams do.

“The stage he’s at, he’s developing. Jamie, we know what he can do. The most important thing in it all is intensity, and he definitely gives us that.”

Daka has scored three goals this season, two more than Vardy in the Premier League. They both trail James Maddison (7) and Harvey Barnes (6) in the club’s scoring charts.

In his maiden season at the club, following his £23m move from RB Salzburg, Daka scored 11 goals. Five of those came in the Premier League.

By Jordan Blackwell | Leicestershire Live 

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