GRADING THE TRANSFER WINDOW OF LEICESTER CITY: NEW LOOK FOXES AIM TO HUNT DOWN EUROPE AND SILVERWARE
Leicester City have firmly established themselves in the upper echelons of the Premier League table since their title win. Last season’s FA Cup win coupled with triumph in the FA Community Shield thereafter has given the supporters much to cheer about, living up to Khun Vichai’s vision.
2020/21 FA Cup winners 🦊🏆
A season we’ll never forget 👏 pic.twitter.com/CKPp0mui3E
— Leicester City (@LCFC) May 24, 2021
However, missing out on UEFA Champions League qualification two years in a row by the narrowest of margins is sure to sting. To avoid a possible three-peat, Brendan Rodgers and the board have invested wisely in a mixture of young talents as well as experienced heads.
242 – Leicester ended more days in the Premier League’s top four than any other side this season and yet failed to finish inside the top four places (242 days). Unlucky.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) May 23, 2021
Coupled with a few departures and one notable retiree, the Foxes are looking to make the top-four finally. FootTheBall analyzes Leicester’s transfer activity and how they performed overall to handle 2021-22.
PATSON DAKA (RB SALZBURG)
BOUBAKARY SOUMARE (LILLE)
RYAN BERTRAND (UNATTACHED) FREE
JANNIK VESTERGAARD (SOUTHAMPTON)
ADEMOLA LOOKMAN (RB LEIPZIG) LOAN
– Austrian Bundesliga winner 2020/21
– Austrian Bundesliga POTS 2020/21
– 34 goals in all comps in 2020/21
Leicester have confirmed the signing of 22-year-old striker Patson Daka for a reported £23m 🦊
An exciting move from the Foxes 🙌 pic.twitter.com/brLFVchr3X
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) June 30, 2021
It is hard to make out who has been the club’s best signing this summer. The 22-year-old Daka has been a prolific goalscorer with RB Salzburg, having scored 68 times in 125 appearances. He netted 27 goals in just 28 games last season to win the Golden Boot and is clearly earmarked as the successor to Jamie Vardy, having inked a five-year deal.
— TheOther14 (@Other14The) July 2, 2021
Soumare, another 22-year-old, was a Ligue 1 winner with Lille and is on a fast ascent to the very top. The £20million spent on the defensive midfielder looks like a very wise investment given his age and the potential to develop over the coming years.
To add further steel to their protection in front of goal, they grabbed Bertrand on a free to solve their notorious left-back issue from last year. Wesley Fofana’s year-ending injury and Johnny Evans’ continuing recovery meant the need for a replacement centre-back with Vestergaard coming in.
7 – Ademola Lookman has been directly involved in more Premier League goals than any other Fulham player this season (4 goals, 3 assists). Inspired. pic.twitter.com/sznKvrU5Z7
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 20, 2021
The final deal for them was a curious one that might just work out spectacularly. Lookman is a dynamic winger who’s direct in his running and can cause a bevvy of problems for the opposition. Still, just 25-years-old and on loan from, he looks to finally establish himself worthy of the Premier League this time around.
CHRISTIAN FUCHS (CHARLOTTE)
MATTY JAMES (RELEASED)
WES MORGAN (RETIRED)
JOSH KNIGHT (PETERBOROUGH)
ADMIRAL MUSKWE (LUTON)
TYRESE SHADE (WALSALL) LOAN
GEORGE HIRST (PORTSMOUTH) LOAN
DANIEL IVERSEN (PRESTON) LOAN
CALLUM WRIGHT (CHELTENHAM TOWN) LOAN
RACHID GHEZZAL (BESIKTAS)
KHANYA LESHABELA (SHREWSBURY TOWN) LOAN
MITCHELL CLARK (ACCRINGTON STANLEY)
KAMAL SOWAH (CLUB BRUGGE)
DENNIS PRAET (TORINO) LOAN
SAM HUGHES (BURTON) LOAN
— Wes Morgan (@Wes5L1nk) May 21, 2021
The biggest absentee from the team is of course longtime captain Morgan retiring after nine-and-a-half years at the club. Though his time on the pitch had decreased recently, he was still a hugely popular figure in the dressing room and noted for his leadership qualities. Along with Morgan went Fuchs, a vital part of the title-winning team and another player whose playing time had reduced considerably.
— Charlotte Independence (@Independence) July 27, 2021
Ghezzal never looked settled during his time at the club, having spent the last two seasons out on loan. Belgian midfielder Praet was a regular part of the squad, though he mostly featured from the bench, and will now look to become a key figure in Italy again.
— Transfer News Live (@DeadlineDayLive) August 31, 2021
The rest of the outgoings were mostly loan spells for players from the U23s team along with a whole host of names released from the same and the academy as well.
The Foxes’ defence has been a fallible area during each of their run-ins under Rodgers. So, it was no surprise to see the club focusing heavily on that area. The left-side was a major problem with Fuchs, Luke Thomas, Timothy Castagne, and James Justin all having been used there.
Luke Thomas woke up yesterday feeling dangerous. pic.twitter.com/wRsuHja5Uj
— Leicester City (@LCFC) May 12, 2021
Centrally, the untimely injury to Evans cost them crucial points while Fofana being ruled out before the start this year made reinforcements a necessity. Lookman is going to challenge Ayoze Perez for his spot on the team as the Spaniard has looked a bit out of place at times. Furthermore, it provides yet another attacking option for Rodgers who also has Harvey Barnes fully fit.
— Leicester City (@LCFC) September 1, 2021
Daka, like mentioned above, will be the understudy to Vardy at least for this season and may play a major role if Leicester perform well in Europe. They have started the league season with two wins from three and up next is a game against the champions Manchester City.
Jamie Vardy at Leicester 🔥
Along with this, they have a tough Europa League group to contend with which includes Napoli, Spartak Moscow and Legia Warsaw. Nevertheless, their main goal will be to get into the Champions League once again and maybe pick up silverware once again.