Khanya Leshabela

More Foxes Progression On The Agenda For Leshabela

Khanya Leshabela hopes to continue impressing for the Club’s Development Squad after agreeing a new three-and-a-half year contract at Leicester City this week.
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The 19-year-old attacking midfielder, who moved to the United Kingdom from South Africa as a youngster, later joined the Club’s Academy in March 2013.

Since then, Leshabela has risen through the ranks at a rapid pace, representing the Club at Under-18s and Under-23s level, as well as in the 2016/17 UEFA Youth League.

After already being named in a first team squad this term, Leshabela is intent on delivering more impressive displays and to go one step further – a senior debut for Leicester City.

“This is great for me and my family,” he told LCFC TV upon agreeing his new deal at Belvoir Drive this week.

Development Squad

Leshabela: I've Worked Hard To Get This

Exciting Foxes youngster Khanya Leshabela spoke to LCFC TV after signing a new contract with Leicester City Football Club.

“I’ve worked hard to get this and I’m just grateful to be given such an opportunity. This is the hard bit right now! I’m just looking to push forward and push into the first team.

“It’s gone really quick. It literally just flies by. It’s been a good journey and I just want to stay in the game for many more years.

“[The Academy staff] have been so supportive and helpful and I’m grateful for all the coaches that I’ve had in the past over my time at the Club.”

This term, Leshabela has featured more regularly for the Under-23s, who currently sit second in Premier League 2 Division 1, after impressing for the Under-18s last season.

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Khanya Leshabela
Khanya Leshabela

Leshabela was a star performer in the UEFA Youth League group stage campaign of 2016/17.

On the experience of playing against the youngsters of Club Brugge, København and FC Porto in the 2016/17 UEFA Youth League, he continued: “That was also a good experience.

“We were playing against foreign opposition and teams we weren’t used to playing. That was a very good experience at such a young age as well and this year it’s been great to step up again into the Under-23s.

“It’s much different compared to the Under-18s, it’s a lot quicker and more physical so you’ve got to be aggressive and at it in every game because there’s no hiding place.

“We’re just looking to push forward and finish as high as possible. The team is on good form right now and we’re just looking to keep pushing.”

In every Under-23s game, you’ve just got to be at it because [Claude Puel] is watching. You’ve got to just keep impressing.

Khanya Leshabela LCFC TV

Leshabela’s attacking qualities were on show for all to see in November’s Premier League Cup fixture against Nottingham Forest at Holmes Park in Whetstone.

The South African collected a corner on the angle of the penalty area, took a touch, and curled it into the top corner with the outside of his boot.

He explained: “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!

“I think it was a corner and it just got played to be 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!”

Development Squad

Leshabela Strikes Against Forest

Khanya Leshabela scored a wonderful goal in the Development Squad's fixture against Nottingham Forest in November.

Foxes manager Claude Puel is developing a track record to handing opportunities to young players with Academy graduates Ben Chilwell and Hamza Choudhury now in the senior side.

Leshabela naturally hopes he will be the next star to climb from the Development Squad and into first team contention. 

“That was another good experience as well and it was great from the manager to give me that opportunity to see what it’s like to be in the first team,” he continued.

“In every Under-23s game, you’ve just got to be at it because he’s watching. You’ve got to just keep impressing.”

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