10 Aug Rodgers lauds Evans as Leicester begin life without Maguire
Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers has labelled signing Jonny Evans as an incredible piece of business as they begin life without Harry Maguire.
The Foxes move on from £80million Maguire when they host Wolves in their Premier League opener on Sunday.
Maguire joined Manchester United on Monday in a world-record fee for a defender with the Foxes failing to sign a replacement.
Burnley rejected Leicester’s offer of around £30million for James Tarkowski before Thursday’s deadline as Rodgers admitted they were priced out of new recruits.
In contrast, three-time Premier League winner Evans joined from West Brom for just £3.5million following the Baggies’ relegation last year and Rodgers knows the club got a bargain.
He said: “Aye, absolutely, it’s an incredible piece of business, only six months earlier he was linked with a move to Man City, I can see that, he’s a big operator, an international captain with big experience.
“He knows what pressure is like having been at Man United, I always said if he didn’t have the injuries he’s had in his career he’d probably still be there now, his reading of the game, his positional play, his talking, it’s at the highest level.
“He’s looked after his body. He picked up the odd niggle here and there, but for any young centre-half to have had the good fortune of playing alongside along someone like that, it’s only going to help our centre-halves.”
Evans is likely to be partnered by Caglar Soyuncu, a £19million buy from Freiburg last summer.
Soyuncu will be given the chance to replace Maguire with Filip Benkovic still recovering from an ankle injury.
Maguire is likely to be making his United debut against Chelsea on Sunday and Rodgers has been in contact with the England international since his exit.
He said: “We’ve exchanged messages and everything. He was a real pleasure to work with. That’s why I speak so highly of him.
“It’s not easy. I’ve been in this situation personally where you’re managing players and it really isn’t easy.
“It’s stability. I think we’re all at our best when we’re secure and stable when you know what your work is, what your life is. Once something gets put into that and disrupts that, it can destabilise you.
“Amid everything that was going on with Harry, I was always clear with him that the responsibility for me was to get him ready but also for him to respect his team-mates. He took on that responsibility.
“When we were away in Evian and we were doing workshops, in terms of our spirit, our culture and what we want to achieve, he was up there talking, being a real part of the group.
“If he thought he was moving, he would have taken himself to the back and not said a word. He didn’t do that, he was very much there right to the very end.”