FIVE Defensive Targets Leicester City Should Try And Sign This Summer

FIVE Defensive Targets Leicester City Should Try And Sign This Summer
May 19, 2017

Featured Leicester Transfer Rumours

With the season all but over, the transfer rumour mill has already gone into overdrive and it looks like once again Leicester will be heavily involved with speculation surrounding both incoming and outgoing players as Craig Shakespeare looks to prepare for what is hopefully a relatively stable season.

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind about what Leicester’s ambitions should be; whilst Champions League football is unattainable in the short run we should be aiming to use last season’s success as a springboard, first to consolidate our current position and then to aim to contend the European places once more. To do so it is quite clear that the club needs to be active in the transfer market with a number of key positions requiring new personnel, so in this series, we look at the positions most in need of strengthening and some candidates for the role.

Centre-Half Depth

After the obvious requirement for a manager, an additional centre-half stands out as the area most in need of attention. Wes Morgan and Robert Huth were outstanding last year, and have shown in the latter part of this season that they are still capable of the same level of performance. However, for a club looking to seriously compete in the Premier League, it is not good enough to be so heavily reliant on two players well into their 30’s.

The lack of depth in the centre of defense needs urgently needs addressing. Leicester only have two out and out centre-half replacements: Marcin Wasilewski, who will likely depart the club in the summer, and Benalouane, who is by no means a reliable back up. Therefore the club should target two central defenders this summer.

Ben Gibson

Club: Middlesbrough

Age: 24

2016/17 Apps: 40

According to Charlie Faye, a lifelong Boro fan and football writer: “This season has seen him develop as a player and leader on the field. He has adapted well to the Premier League and earned himself and England call-up in the process. The general consensus is that he has earned his transfer elsewhere and has been one of the few able to hold their head high in an otherwise poor campaign”.

Gibson may well be a lifelong Middlesbrough fan but he seems destined to leave the club to further his Premier league ambitions and is likely to have a few clubs after him; he is strong and has an ability to read the game very well, preferring to stay on his feet rather than rashly diving in. Crucially, he is comfortable with the ball at his feet which is an ability Leicester’s current pairing do not possess. In a world where John Stones is worth £49m,  Boro would be well within their rights to ask for around the £20m mark for Gibson, and despite competition from elsewhere he would present a very attainable option for Leicester.

Harry Maguire

Club: Hull City

Age: 24

2016/17 Apps: 36

 Maguire, Hull’s player of the season, has already been linked with a move to Leicester as City look to get their business done early this year and on this season’s performances it’s not hard to see why. He has been excellent for large parts of the campaign in an otherwise dismal campaign for Hull City and has drawn plaudits for his calm and decisive style of play. Speaking on Match Of The Day, Shearer said “He gets his timing spot on in so many tackles and is often in the right place and the right time. He organises his side and is strong going forward”.

Maguire has one year left on his contract and looks certain to leave Hull this summer and Leicester are the most likely of his potential suitors to offer him both the pay packet and playing time assurances that he is likely to demand.

Kara Mbodji

Club: RSC Anderlecht

Age: 27

2016/17 Apps: 29 

Mbodji has been heavily linked with Leicester previously as City reportedly made a number of bids for the Senegal International in January. Mbdoji has made his plans very clear stating “I want to be a champion with Anderlecht and then leave, I am too ambitious to go to China or Russia. Everyone knows I dream of the Premier League”.

This is hugely encouraging for City. Previously their ££7.5m bid was rejected as being too far from Anderlecht’s rumoured £13m asking price but reports in Belgium now suggest they could settle for a deal worth £8.5m. For a comparatively low figure Leicester would be getting an imposing 6ft 4in defender who is both strong physically and in the air with a decent amount of international experience.

Wildcard Options: Nathan Ake/ Andreas Christensen

Club: Chelsea

Age: 22/21

2016/17 Apps: 17/44

Christenen and Ake are just two of more than thirty players that Chelsea loaned out last year, and Leicester’s chances of signing either would depend hugely on their respective probabilities of breaking into the first team. Nathan Ake is a highly regarded young talent who impressed Antonio Conte enough to be recalled from his loan at Bournemouth in the middle of the season, though he’s played just five games since his return. Christensen has been on a two-year loan at Borrussia Monchengladbach and the German club rate him highly enough to make the move permanent.

Either would fit the mould as young and hungry players with top level experience and seriously strengthen the squad, however it looks likely that only one of them will make it into the Chelsea first team picture. With David Luiz, Cesar Azpilicueta and Gary Cahill as first choice centre halves with Kurt Zouma providing back up, options are limited, especially if van Dijk arrives from Southampton. Price tags of around £18m are unlikely to present a problem to City, and hopefully the lure of consistent first team football would prove enough to persuade them to join.

 

  1. They let a good centre half in Liam Moore go

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