This campaign, Leicester City have struggled to maintain their form of seasons gone by.
In the previous two campaigns, the Foxes have finished in fifth place despite looking like they were in the driving seat for a Champions League place. For most of this season though, Leicester have been in and around mid-table with injuries being a key factor to that.
Obviously, the Foxes are still in the Europa Conference League and a win in that tournament will guarantee them a space in next seasons Europa League, notwithstanding their league position. But what signings could Leicester make this summer to fire them back into European football?
Leicester transfer business over the last few campaigns has been very shrewd, in particular the signings of Patson Daka and Boubakary Soumare last summer and they will look to carry that on. Crucial midfielder Youri Tielemans looks like he will be exiting the King Power Stadium this summer with his contract running out in 2023.
Ibrahim Sangaré could be the ideal replacement for Tielemans who has shone at PSV Eindhoven this season and is attracting the interest from the Premier League’s elite. The Ivorian made 50 appearances for Toulouse where he was monitored by many clubs and had a lot of admirers. He is a different type of midfielder compared to the Belgian, however, the ability that he possesses is needed in any team.
Tackling, aerial duels, interceptions and dribbling are his main strengths among others. Most of the Sangaré’s football this season has been played at the defensive midfield position which is where he would likely operate under Brendan Rodgers. £30 Million is the fee that is believed to be required for Sangaré’s services, according to The Scottish Sun, and the Foxes may just be tempted to step in to secure the 24-year-old.
Next up is a potential replacement for club legend Kasper Schmeichel who has struggled slightly this campaign following his heroics with Denmark in the European Championships in the summer. There is no doubt that he is an extraordinary player; he has done so much for the club but it may be time now to line up a new goalkeeper.
Alexander Nübel was thought to be the replacement for Manuel Neuer at Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena but the veteran has stayed in between the sticks in Munich. This has meant that Nübel had a lack of minutes at Bayern Munich after his free transfer from Schalke, so a loan move to French side Monaco seemed like a perfect fit, and so it was. Nübel has been a revelation at Monaco since his arrival last summer on a two-year loan deal and has starred as the Monégasques have been in the higher echelons of the league table.
Unlike Schmeichel, the 25-year-old’s distribution is great and is something that is important in Rodgers’ side. Despite Nübel being on a two-year loan at Monaco, Bayern Munich have the option to cut the loan short this summer which could bring a permanent sale for the German. This is where I think Leicester should step in before their rivals to complete this transfer to secure a goalkeeper for the next few seasons.
One main problem Leicester have had this season is the lack of fit centre backs, including the likes of Wesley Fofana and Jonny Evans. Jannik Vestergaard was brought in last summer but has been unable to replace the likes of Fofana and Evans this campaign. A new starting defender is certainly required next season if the Foxes want to enter the European fray again.
A move for a Champions League and Premier League winner could be on the cards with versatile defender Joe Gomez potentially wanting to exit Anfield next season. Liverpool are likely to want to keep Gomez though, however, it is getting to the point in his career where he needs regular first-team football. The London born defender is able to play at both centre back and right back which could come to great use to Leicester.
With such an incredible calibre of players at Liverpool, Gomez has struggled to cement a place in the team with the impeccable form of the likes of Joël Matip and Trent Alexander-Arnold. A centre back partnership of both Gomez and a fully fit Fofana next season could be a very positive one for now and for the future.
In conclusion, this summer is one of importance for Leicester who have fallen into the mid-table places after an inconsistent run of results this season. Recruitment will also be crucial as some players have been unable to retain the form that they have shown from previous seasons. But do you think that signings like Ibrahim Sangaré, Alexander Nübel and Joe Gomez could help Leicester’s push for European football?