LATEST: Leicester City striker George Hirst to be rewarded with first-team chance following Portsmouth loan
Foxes boss Brendan Rodgers has revealed he will run the rule over the 23-year-old in pre-season as he returns to the King Power Stadium.
It comes after an impressive stay at PO4 where the forward finished as the Blues’ top scorer - netting 15 times in 46 appearances in all competitions.
After a difficult stay at Rotherham, Hirst’s woes continued in the opening spells of his Fratton Park career - finding the net twice before the January window, where he recently admitted he was close to quitting Pompey.
Instead, the striker came on leaps and bounds in the second half of the campaign, flourishing up front in Danny Cowley’s side.
The Blues boss revealed he would like to bring the Foxes ace back to PO4 next term, as he looks to keep the foundations of a team that lost just four times in 19 games.
The reality is any Premier League loan would likely have to wait until later in the window, with clubs generally assessing their squads in pre-season before releasing younger squad members closer to the transfer deadline.
Rodgers has been impressed with his Hirst’s stay at Pompey, though, and admits he is excited to take a look at the forward in pre-season.
‘When I first came in, there was something in him. He’s 6ft 4ins, got a nice touch, he’s good in the air, he can run, he’s got decent speed.
‘I felt he needed experience. He’s gone out and didn’t quite get the experience at Rotherham but at Portsmouth gradually he’s improved and developed.
‘I think him coming back in the summer, we get a good chance to see him having played for points and having had something to prove.
‘I would hope and I’m pretty sure I’ll see a step up both mentally and tactically in the game from him.
Also returning to the King Power Stadium along with Hirst are loanees Daniel Iversen, Kasey McAteer, Jake Wakeling, Josh Eppiah, Jakub Stolarczyk, Vontae Daley-Campbell.
The former Liverpool boss followed on by admitting all have a chance to stake a first-term claim when pre-season comes around.
Rodgers added: ‘These guys will get the chance to come back in. They’ve had long seasons themselves but I’ll look forward to seeing them again in the summer.’