Leicester City are reeling from the loss of Harry Maguire, but that doesn’t take anything away from their cracking attacking force. They’ll almost certainly be in the hunt for that final Europa League spot this season. Next on our Premier League preview list is Brendan Rodgers and his Leicester City side.
State of Play
As I mentioned above, Leicester are deep in scouting mode as they look for a replacement for Harry Maguire. The England centre-half has signed for Manchester United for £80million – a world record fee for a defender. Brighton’s Lewis Dunk, Burnley’s James Tarkowski and Bournemouth’s Nathan Ake are all on the shortlist to replace him. If they can pull one of those deals off, they’ll be looking very strong.
So far in the window they have already brought in central midfielder Youri Tielemans (£40million) from Monaco, forward Ayoze Perez (£30million) from Newcastle and defender James Justin (£6million) from Luton. In terms of departures, the only major player on the way out is the aforementioned Harry Maguire – Rodgers will be well pleased he’s managed to hold on the likes of James Maddison and Ben Chilwell.
In terms of pre-season, Leicester have been very strong – they’ve won five of their six warm up matches. The only game they didn’t win was a draw against Rotherham. The teams they did manage to beat are Scunthorpe, Cheltenham, Cambridge, Stoke City and Italian side Atalanta.
Signing of the Summer
As a Newcastle fan, you’d think I’d be tempted to take Ayoze Perez as my signing of the summer for Leicester – but you’d be wrong. Youri Tielemans is an absolutely fantastic signing, he’s already proved his quality during his loan spell at the club last season and will only impress further this term.
With his ability to score goals, his ability to create them as well as do the ugly side of the game too, he is the perfect example of an all-around midfielder. With the likes of Manchester United having sniffed around him this summer, Leicester will be delighted they managed to persuade him to come back – at a very decent fee too.
As I said at the top, Leicester will be one of the teams competing for the “best of the rest” title. It’s likely they’ll be up against the winners of that race from last season, Wolves, as well as newly revitalised Everton and maybe even West Ham.
I can see them being very strong this season, and them not having qualified for Europe last season may serve them well in the long run. Wolves will be traveling around Europe every other Thursday, and as we’ve seen before, that could have a less than positive effect on their fitness come Sunday afternoons.
If I had to call that race now, I can see Leicester taking it – as long as they replace Harry Maguire. If they don’t, they will be a little short at the back. But, for now, I’ll have faith in the Leicester hierarchy to spend the Maguire money wisely and nick that seventh spot.
*All transfer information taken from https://www.transfermarkt.co.uk/leicester-city/transfers/verein/1003