RACHID GHEZZAL, YOURI TIELEMANS, AND NAMPALYS MENDY- THREE PLAYERS LEICESTER CITY SHOULD SELL BEFORE NEW SEASON
- The directors of a fairytale in England, Leicester City have enjoyed a handful of magnificent campaigns in England’s top-flight. After just surviving relegation, the Foxes claimed the English crown under Claudio Ranieri while Brendan Rodgers fulfilled King Power’s FA Cup aspirations. But something that has eluded the high-flying foxes is a seat at the Champions League table. For the past two seasons, the Foxes have faltered at the business end of the Premier League, destroying their European football dreams. With the summer window opening, the managers are busy splashing millions of pounds to acquire their favourite names. And if Brendan Rodgers wants to change the situation at the King Power Stadium, the spectators could see Leicester City sell a few players before the English carnival.
2020/21 FA CUP WINNERS! 🔵🦊 pic.twitter.com/QEZKJUVwZT
— Leicester City (@LCFC) May 15, 2021
Although a Premier League trophy seems like a far-shot, the Foxes have previously proved why you can’t count them out. The midfield is dictating the pitch, the defence looks like a wall, and the forward battery of Vardy and Iheanacho needs no introduction. But they could engage in some crafty selling decisions before the campaign, to maintain their finances and then utilise that to tick off Rodger’s shopping list. We at FootTheBall dig deep to find out the players Leicester City could sell in this summer window.
Algerian wingers and Leicester City has been a winning combination for Leicester. Riyad Mahrez’s silverware winning campaign at the King Power Stadium made him a hot property in Europe. After the dazzling winger parted ways with the Foxes, the management swept in another Algerian name to bolster their silverware aspirations.
Rachid Ghezzal was a key player for Lyon’s team that rocketed up the Ligue 1 standings 3 seasons back to earn a silver medal behind untouchable champions PSG. The swashbuckling winger faltered when he arrived in England, and Iheancho’s revamped career, Jamie Vardy’s thundering goals, and Ayoze Perez’s sparkling dashes forced Brendan Rodgers to bench Ghezzal. There are also real questions about whether he is sufficiently flexible to contribute to a team that does not use a 4-3-3 system.
It’s fine to overlook that the Algerian speedster is still under agreement with Leicester City. Ghezzal has spent two loan spells outside England after he switched from Monaco. One being Turkish giants Besiktas and Italian outfit Fiorentina being the other. Despite a lack of striking balance, Ghezzal’s temporary transfer to Beskistas last summer signalled that the Algerian’s tenure at the King Power was finished. Ghezzal is expected to be sold to raise finances and boost attacking options as the Foxes strive to add additional talented attackers to their roster. And something that could attract Leicester City in selling the Algerian speedster is Besiktas 8.5 million euros bid for Ghezzal. The two parties have constantly been talking, with the Turkish troops just waiting for Ghezzal’s signature.
While Covid-19 restricted spectators from entering stadiums, FA cup’s ultimate showdown had an army of English fans divided between cheering for the Foxes and the Blues. Now imagine a jam-packed Wembley, the final of a major English tournament, and you score a thundering strike from a long-range to dismantle the opposition goalkeeper, won’t it be a fairytale for the ages. Well, Foxes midfielder was the protagonist of Leicester City’s chronicle when the Belgium magician outclassed Kepa with a mouth-watering strike to help the Foxes conquer the FA Cup title.
He has remarkable strength and can fabricate his magic with both feet, and his ball-striking accuracy is crucial not just in his precise distribution, but also in his capability to fire from long range. He’s entrusted with connecting the game from defence to offence in the team’s build-up phase since he’s skilled with holding territory and dodging opponent’s assault using a mixture of talent and movement.
Although the Belgium midfielder could attract a billion bucks from any European outfit, Tielamans could perfectly solve Los Blancos’ jigsaw puzzle. Real Madrid’s veterans Toni Kroos and Luka Modric might soon be reaching the twilight of their career, with the former already announcing his international retirement. And therefore, Tielemans’ addition to Madrid’s roster can give them the depth they have been craving in their depleted midfield. The 24-year-old is far ahead of Valverde and Isco if a move to Bernabeu is confirmed. And Tielemans’ glittering CV could force Carlo Ancelotti to acquire the Belgium international to bolster their European chances.
CHANGE IN SCENERY
Nampalys Mendy has done a serviceable of replacing N’Golo Kante’s shoes. The existence of Wilfred Ndidi and the rise of Hamza Choudhary hasn’t benefited the ex-French U21 star. Mendy has racked up less than 50 outings for the Foxes since joining the roster three and a half years back. The Frenchman has started more than 10 games just once at King Power Stadium, demonstrating his injury issues. Leicester City could trade Mendy to offload the squad and bolster their finances with the Premier League carnival inching closer. And the fact that Brendan Rodgers prefers Tielemans and Choudhary over the former Nice midfielder, Nampalys Mendy could soon be falling into the list of players Leicester City are looking to sell.
Another issue with Mendy is that he is constantly sidelined. While his low number of Premier League games for Leicester City over 3 years suggests he may demand, if not refuse, a transfer away this year. Not to add but an additional reason playing against Mendy is that Claude Puel was in charge of the majority of his fixtures. They had trained frequently before landing at Filbert Way and had good working chemistry.
And since Brendan Rodger’s appointment, Mendy has lost himself a place in the maestro’s blueprint. Leicester may explore proposals for the now 27-year-old. That is not an advanced age, but Mendy could wish to pick up his game again. And even if Mendy cannot fabricate a swashbuckling contract from other European outfits, a loan move to restore the Frenchman’s form might benefit the Foxes.