James Maddison may have the biggest impact of January at Leicester City FC, according to boss Brendan Rodgers.
The striker has been out since limping off in November’s win over West Ham with a knee injury.
He still went to the World Cup with England but failed to show up and returned with another knee problem that has sidelined him ever since.
The 26-year-old has resumed training and is in contention to face Brighton at the King Power Stadium on Saturday and Rodgers believes it will be his team’s biggest arrival of January.
“Yes. He is a great talent and he has improved a lot in every way since I saw him when I first came here,” he said.
“He is one of the best players in the Premier League in all facets of his game. Having that missing in our team makes a big difference. It will be great to have him back.
“That quality that he brings to the team, we don’t have anything like it. Thats the reality. Players of that quality give confidence to other players. Everything else moves from that.
“He can create space, he can keep the ball, he can stay on it, he can create. The big area of his game that he has improved is the intensity of his pressing. Having him back in the fold brings us a different dimension.”
Without Maddison, Leicester have lost their last four games in the top flight to sit 15th in a congested table, two points above their last three.
“If you look at the league, it has fantastic coaches, fantastic clubs, so it’s very competitive. I think from start to finish it will be a fight for all the teams,” Rodgers said.
“If you win a few games, you jump up several positions, so for us that’s our idea: in this second half of the season to move up to that top half.”
Leicester are expected to strengthen for their fight for survival and defender Victor Kristiansen is close to joining from FC Copenhagen as the Foxes look to sign their first permanent player in the January window since 2018.
“It’s nice. It’s not all about new players all the time,” Rodgers added.
“Obviously, in our position, I have always felt with this team that regeneration is very important, for all teams.
“I’ve been here for almost four years, normally the teams change after three years.
“If we can get some, that will help energize the team. But the teams are now competitive, they want to develop and they can go and improve their squads.
“Clearly there are finances there and they want to improve. Our first place to look is always within young talent, if not look outside and most teams have.”