Powell completed a season-long loan switch to the King Power Stadium on transfer deadline day, at a time when the Foxes season looked promising.
Draws with Everton and Arsenal confirmed the Foxes could match the Premier League’s finest, and a 5-3 victory over Manchester United will live long in the memory. However, in the seven games since the victory over the Red Devils, Nigel Pearson’s side have scored just two goals - both in a 2-2 draw with fellow promoted side Burnley.
Chances have dried up, and a change of formation has cost the side energy and creativity associated with them at the beginning of the campaign. Pearson reverted from his 4-4-2 to a 4-3-1-2, and the lack of movement in the final third has often seen Leonardo Ulloa moving wide in an effort to pick up the ball. Upon changing back to the original formation at the weekend, Leicester looked convincing once again, and the Foxes were unfortunate to only claim a 0-0 draw with Sunderland.
In amongst Pearson’s tactical changes, he has remained stubborn with his team selection, and it has been at the cost of a number of creative players in the starting line-up. Riyad Mahrez has looked impressive on the wing, but Anthony Knockaert has made just four appearances this term, and his movement and ability could be the perfect solution to fix Leicester’s troubles.
Another man who should be awarded his chance at the King Power Stadium is Nick Powell, with the Manchester United loanee making just two substitute appearances this season.
20-year-old Powell offers a directness and work rate highly sought-after in the Premier League, and it was only the signings of Radamel Falcao and Angel Di Maria which forced him to look for a move away from Old Trafford in September. The England youth international netted 12 goals in 32 games last season, and he has proven his ability to read the game from a deeper position.
His inclusion would allow Ulloa - who still has the second highest conversion rate in the Premier League - to remain in the box to score goals, whilst Powell acts as the prime creator, working the line from the entirety of the final third.
Considering Leicester’s continuing troubles, it has been a surprise to see Powell remain on the sidelines. The youngster possesses all the talents to aid the Foxes’ recovery, and he would have an increased desire to perform well, with Red Devils’ boss Louis van Gaal willing to use youth during his reign at Old Trafford. If he can see Leicester as a stepping stone to the Manchester United first-team, then Powell could just become a vital part of their fight for survival in the Premier League.