The Academy graduate, who joined the Foxes at the age of seven, has risen through the ranks in Leicestershire, representing various youth teams, before earning Premier League match-time, appearing in European competition and winning the Emirates FA Cup.
It’s not been a linear journey for Hamza at Leicester. His time at the Club has involved loan spells away, most recently last term with Watford. Now back at King Power Stadium and working with new Manager Enzo Maresca, the 25-year-old has grown into a man here and is determined to help them win promotion from the Sky Bet Championship this term.
“It’s an amazing feeling for me and my family,” City’s No.17 said. “This is my home. I’ve obviously spent the majority of my life here around the same people in the same environment. I’m looking forward to cracking on now and hopefully helping the team get back to the Premier League. To be staying here for another four years is exactly what I want.”
Choudhury has seen it all at Leicester City. Although he was yet to break into the senior picture, he was on the books when the Club won the Premier League in 2016, later emerging into the side for runs in the UEFA Europa League and appearing in the 2021 FA Cup Final.
A new dawn is breaking in the modern era, though, with Maresca bringing a new working culture to the Club. It’s going well for the Italian, with his side currently top of the Championship table, and Hamza is excited by what the future could have in store.
Hamza Choudhury is ready for the challenges to come at Leicester City.
“A lot’s changed [at the Club],” he added. “From being at Belvoir Drive, to the facilities we’re in now, the success that came along the way, there’s definitely been ups and downs in my personal career. I’m really enjoying it here and I feel like there’s a new challenge now. Everyone’s excited and I’m looking forward to getting started.
“You’ve got to challenge yourself with being successful after you’re successful, or when you get a new contract, or when you get promoted to the First Team, winning trophies. You’ve got to be able to push yourself to strive for more success. You want to be around that sort of environment, and I feel like that’s what we’ve definitely got here at Leicester.
“Obviously, last year was a big disappointment for the Club, but it’s another opportunity for us to go out and be successful again and be a part of this great club’s history.”
The Club is a happy place to be again after last season’s relegation. Although away at Watford in 2022/23, Choudhury says the transformation is clear to see. Building on that ethos will be key to Leicester City’s future success, the defensive midfielder-turned-right-back believes.
“That’s what the Manager said in his first meeting, we’ve got to change the culture,” he explained. “It’s a happy place and we want to put smiles on people’s faces going into work every day. That’s what Leicester’s been about since I’ve been here.
I feel like we’re still only 60 per cent of the way. We’ve got so much more to show and give. It’s about learning and wanting to learn and adapting to [Enzo Maresca's] style of football.Hamza Choudhury
“I’m sure a lot of people will say we’re quite a close-knit group and we’re a lot like a family. He put a lot of emphasis on bringing the smile back to peoples’ faces and I feel like that’s definitely happened so far.
“I wasn’t here for large parts of last year, but from the lads tell me, it’s like chalk and cheese really. It’s nice to be honest. The new additions have been fantastic, and we’ve still obviously got the old heads like Vards (Jamie Vardy), Sharks (Marc Albrighton) and Wardy (Danny Ward). It’s so nice to be in that culture again and it’s an exciting place to be.”
Moving to right-back this term, Choudhury is embracing the challenge set of him. It’s a fluid role which several players have been asked to perform and it’s paying dividends for the team.
“It’s a different role,” he admitted. “It’s something that I’ve enjoyed. The Manager is very intense and very specific about what he wants from his players and how he wants his team to play. From day one, we’ve worked hard and put a lot of hours into it.
“I feel like we’re still only 60 per cent of the way. We’ve got so much more to show and give. It’s about learning and wanting to learn and adapting to his style of football. One of my strengths is my defending anyway, so to be put in at right-back is natural for me. It’s just getting the transitioning right between going into midfield and slotting into right-back.
The Foxes midfielder has been deployed at right-back by Enzo Maresca this term.
“I’m enjoying it. It’s the way football’s definitely going, and you see a lot of clubs are starting to be successful playing this kind of football. For a footballer, to play with the majority of the ball is what you want, and to be exciting and scoring goals. It’s something I’m really embracing and I’m enjoying it.”
The former Burton Albion loanee concedes there was maybe a time where he didn’t expect he’d be here, signing a new deal at the Club. He’s delighted that things have transpired this way in any case. His new deal extends his long association with a club he clearly cares for deeply.
“Football’s a funny game, it changes so quickly,” he said. “It’s difficult to plan too far ahead. That’s something I’ve told myself for a long time. I can only take each day as it comes and try and improve and put myself in the best stead for wherever I’m going to be.
“Last season was definitely a learning curve for me and, as much as I enjoyed it, I really wanted to come back here and prove myself, that I could play and be a part of this club. Coming back into pre-season, with a new Manager, a new system, a new culture, was exciting for me to be honest. I was just ready. I was mature enough to put myself in this position and mature enough as a player and a person. The Manager has obviously put quite a lot of faith and trust in me, and I’ve been enjoying it. I’m thankful I’m here and we’ll see what comes next.”
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