Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers has heaped praise on Khanya Leshabela after the midfielder made his English Premiership debut.
The 21-year-old took to the field for the Foxes who thrashed strugglers Sheffield United 5-0 on Sunday to maintain a place in the top four.
A hat-trick from Nigerian striker Kelechi Iheanacho, a solo strike by Ayoze Perez and an own goal by Ethan Ampadu handed the former champions the victory at the King Power Stadium.
Leshabela was introduced in the 81st minute of the game and had some good touches linking up well with the likes of Youri Tielimans, Jamie Vardy, Wilfried Ndidi and Iheanacho. He did not struggle to blend into the team as he has been part of the first team system for the past two seasons.
Speaking to Leicester City TV, Rodgers praised the creative midfielder saying he has worked very hard and he possesses some good qualities.
“He’s worked very hard and we’ve given lots of young players the taste of first-team football.
“He’s a young player that has worked very hard, he was unfortunate not to go out on loan so we had to keep him to have him around the squad.
“Today he gets his reward for that hard work. But there’s still a long way to go for him, but he has got qualities and he came into the game and showed a nice confidence.”
The Soshanguve-born youngster made the bench on numerous occasions in both the league and continental competitions this season, but the former Liverpool boss waited for a game with less pressure to introduce him to the fold.
Leicester will now shift their focus to cup football. The Foxes host Manchester United in the quarter-final of the FA Cup on Sunday evening and Leshabela will be eager to get more game time under his belt.
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By Prince Sobayeni