Johannesburg – Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers has extolled South African midfielder Thakgalo Leshabela after the 21-year-old soccer star become the second South African – alongside Percy Tau – to feature in the English Premier League this season.
Rogers was speaking after Leicester City outclassed Sheffield United 5-0 at the King Power Stadium last weekend.
Leshabela joined the Foxes Academy in 2013 and made his debut in the thrashing of Sheffield, a victory that took Leicester a step closer to securing UEFA Champions League football next season.
The South Africa youth international was introduced in the final 10 minutes of the clash after being named on the bench seven times this season.
Leicester boss Rodgers praised Leshabela for his hard work.
“Yeah he’s worked very hard, we’ve given a lot of young players there taste of first-team football and he’s a young player who’s worked very hard, he was unfortunate not go on loan. We had to keep him to have him around the first-team squad and got his reward for that. There’s still a long way to go for him but he’s got quality and he came into the game and showed nice confidence.”
The left-footed player was part of the South Africa squad at the 2019 FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Poland.
Leshabela also played for Amajita at the 2019 U20 Africa Cup of Nations in Niger, where he featured in two matches as South Africa finished third in the tournament.
Football fans are eager to see if South Africa U23 coach David Notoane will include Leshabela in his final squad for the 2021 Olympic Games.
He is part of Notoane’s 78-man provisional squad for the Tokyo Games that are scheduled for July 23 to August 8.
Leshabela was born in Tshwane and relocated to the United Kingdom after his family moved there when he was two-years-old.