Brendan Rodgers has acknowledged that this season has been tough for Ayoze Perez, but hailed the Spaniard for his attitude and 'aggression' after returning to the team.
Perez started off the season as a key figure in the Leicester side but quickly lost his place following the arrival of Cengiz Under. He started four of their first five matches, but then sat out the next five, making the bench just once in November.
Consecutive defeats to Liverpool and Fulham caused Rodgers to mix things up, however, and Perez was recalled from the cold to start against United. Within 25 minutes, he had opened the scoring, putting the Foxes on their way to an important 2-1 victory.
“His attitude and everything around his behaviour has been first class,” Rodgers said on Perez, per LeicestershireLive.
“We’ve been talking to him in terms of why he hadn’t been playing and he understands the team has been doing well. Cengo Under has come in and done very well, so that’s limited his game-time. Sometimes he hasn’t even made the bench but he’s kept up that aggression and quality in training, knowing that the chance would come.
“Today, we changed the system around at the top end of the field, and I thought he did very well. It’s a great finish, to manoeuvre his body and score. That will be great for his confidence.
“He was really aggressive in his game, and that’s one of the things I said to him. He has to play with that intensity and aggression, and when he does that, he’s a very good player.”
Under was one of the victims of Perez's return to the side as the on-loan Roma winger sat out as an unused sub. The change of system saw Perez join Jamie Vardy up front, though he was regularly seen dropping deep to help out James Maddison, Youri Tielemans and Nampalys Mendy,
“We wanted him to come underneath in and link the game up, because they play with three midfield players," Rodgers went on. "We had three in there, but him coming in there to make a fourth man was going to be important. I thought his all-around game was excellent.”