Why Leicester City handed Amartey a rare league start at Everton

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Manager Craig Shakespeare talks about making almost half a dozen changes to his starting XI on Sunday

Leicester City manager Craig Shakespeare has shed light on his introduction of several new faces in the side that fell 4-2 to Everton in the Premier League on Sunday.

Caught up in a relegation fight for the most part of the season and in need of three points to consolidate their current 11th position, the 53-year-old made five changes to his starting set-up at Goodison Park.

Ghana international Daniel Amartey was one of the beneficiaries, joining the likes of Ben Chilwell, Marc Albrighton, Andy King and Islam Slimani, while regular faces like Shinji Okazaki, Riyad Mahrez, Danny Simpson, Christian Fuchs and Wilfred Ndidi took up places on the bench.

“I think the team selection was with the games coming up in mind," Shakespeare said, as reported by his club's official website.

"We’ve got a lot coming up – Wednesday [against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League], Saturday [against Crystal Palace] and Tuesday [return fixture with Atletico Madrid] – but we’ve got a good squad.

"Players have had to be patient and the idea was that whichever team we field [will] try to be competitive and try to win the game. 

"We didn’t come to try to get a point, the team was picked to try to get three points. 

"The selection was about squad rotation more than anything else."

Amartey's return to the starting set-up was of special interest to Ghanaians, considering the 22-year-old had not started a league game since his return from the Africa Cup of Nations last February. 

All his three Premier League outings since the tournament have been from the bench.

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Before the Afcon, however, the utility man played 17 topflight matches involving 16 starts.

The Accra-born joined Leicester from Danish outfit Kobenhavn in January last year, helping the Foxes win the league last season.

 

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