What positions are Leicester aiming for in the summer transfer window? What did Brendan Rodgers say? And what do the statistics say?
What positions are Leicester aiming for?
Sky Sports News chief football reporter Rob Dorsett:
Finances remain very tight for Leicester City and it is expected they will seek to sack a number of fringe players – and perhaps a big star or two if the money is right – to fund a Brendan Rodgers rebuild.
Youri Tielemans is expected to leave, with Leicester benefiting as he has just one year left on his current contract and is uninterested in signing another. That will likely net the transfer kitty in excess of £30m, with Arsenal a possible target.
Caglar Soyuncu is another big name who could be on the way out of King Power Stadium – he has a year left on his contract and Rodgers is willing to let him go for the right money.
So has Boubakary Soumare and Jannick Vestergaard, just a year after joining Leicester – Leicester bosses will be concerned, who want to recover much of the £17million they paid Lille for Soumare.
The areas Leicester are keen to strengthen are midfield and central defence.
Rodgers admitted his current set of stoppers just isn’t aggressive enough. That’s a big part of why Leicester were so permeable at set pieces last season and it’s addressed in this window.
With Soyuncu and Vestergaard exceeding the requirements, two new centre-backs are on the cards, although Jonny Evans is expected to sign a 12-month extension to his existing contract that would keep him at the club until 2024.
James Tarkowski has long been a target and could be affordable now that Burnley have been relegated, although Leicester will face competition from Aston Villa, among others.
Expect them to fight to keep Wesley Fofana, who has many blue-chip admirers.
What do the stats say about Leicester?
No team conceded a higher percentage of set goals (34 percent) and more cross goals (15) than the foxes. Wesley Fofana’s long-term injury didn’t help them, but even Jonny Evans has featured in just 16 of 38 league games this season.
With Daniel Amartey, Wilfred Ndidi and Hamza Choudhary filling in at centre-back, Brendan Rodgers would need to bring an experienced player into the position.
What did manager Brendan Rodgers say?
Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers said in May:
“We are very focused on the summer to improve the squad.
“I said it needs a healthy restructuring, which is what most clubs always do at this time. You obviously want to keep your core players, but you want to add quality.
“We don’t have a lot of money, but we want to attract players who are willing to adapt to the way we work.”
What should Leicester do this summer?
Sky Sports’ Laura Hunter:
Brendan Rodgers may need to implement a “wheel and deal” approach for this summer’s window.
Leicester don’t need a total reorganization but King Power certainly needs a pack reshuffle to keep up with the improvement of other clubs in the Best of the Rest sector.
Leicester are believed to need to generate sales before they can buy, which could stall potential earnings, but a left centre-back and a creative midfielder should be high on the priority list.
“We need to reinvigorate the squad,” Rodgers admitted on the final day of the Premier League season. It’s looking increasingly likely that Youri Tielemans and Caglar Soyuncu will leave at the right price. Both would free up spending to either directly replace or perhaps reinforce other vulnerabilities. The former would be more pragmatic.
The foxes were shaky defensively last season. This is one of the reasons why they have suffered their worse league result in three years. They conceded 16 goals from corners, the most records (since 2006–07) in a single top-flight season. That needs to be addressed.
Without Tielemans’ influence, they also lack any form of control in midfield, which is evident in the majority of games he’s missed. So if it’s sold, it needs a permanent successor.