Khanya Leshabela: South African teenager on style of play and what Leicester City fans can expect
Posted: 9 January 2019 Time: 16:00
Leicester City rewarded promising winger Thakgalo Khanya Leshabela with his first professional contract on Tuesday and the sole South African representative in the Premier League has now revealed what fans can expect of him.
Leshabela may not be a household name within the South African football fraternity just yet, having left the country in his formative years, but the mercurial talent looks destined for a bright future in the English top-flight.
READ: Leicester reward Leshebela with new deal
Following in the footsteps of England international Ben Chilwell and Hamza Choudhury as the recent academy graduates into the club's first-team, the 19-year-old midfielder has earned the faith of manager Claude Puel, whom he duly noted has taken a keen interest in his progression with the U-23 side over the past few months.
"In every Under-23s game, you've just got to be at it because [Claude Puel] is watching," he told the club's website upon signing his new deal. "You've got to just keep impressing."
His three-and-a-half year contract displays the faith the Foxes have placed in the player, who joined the club back in 2013, and after recently making the matchday squad in the Carabao Cup against Southampton, he's ready to fight for the next step in "pushing into the first-team".
But what exactly does he offer?
In this season's Premier League 2 campaign, in which Leicester trail leaders Everton by a single point, Leshabela featured prominently on the flanks, but has shown his versatility in the number-10 role and as a false nine.
And as he describes his strengths, he notes that one of the goals he netted this season typifies what he's about.
"I would say I'm a midfielder that can operate anywhere across the midfield and I like to get on the ball and create things, so I was happy with that goal," said Leshabela.
"I think it was a corner and it just got played to me on the edge of the box, and I took a touch and it was under my feet so I improvised.
"I said ‘let’s hit it with the outside of my foot’ and luckily it went top bins!”
Leicester will return to action again on Saturday, when they face Southampton in a league encounter, with Leshabela still gunning for his top-flight debut.