Gareth Southgate’s tactics should influence Claude Puel

STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 04: Claude Puel, Manager of Leicester City looks on during the Premier League match between Stoke City and Leicester City at Bet365 Stadium on November 4, 2017 in Stoke on Trent, England. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)
STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 04: Claude Puel, Manager of Leicester City looks on during the Premier League match between Stoke City and Leicester City at Bet365 Stadium on November 4, 2017 in Stoke on Trent, England. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images) /

An important season is on the horizon for Leicester City. Claude Puel needs a suitable style to focus on. Are 3-5-2 or 3-4-3 formations realistic options?

Riyad Mahrez has gone. If Harry Maguire remains at the King Power, Claude Puel can take inspiration from Gareth Southgate’s England national team. Integrating three centre-backs with rapid forwards and wing-backs.

Leicester City achieved fame and glory during the 2015/16 campaign. A Premier League title came without huge ball possession and fast counter attacks. They did so with a 4-4-2. That is the history – Puel can implement evolution.

Puel should scrap the 4-4-2. In addition, one of the formerly mentioned elements should remain, the other should be replaced with another philosophy. The Foxes have the pace, youth and players enabling a swift break.

Although, Puel should keep faith with a higher percentage of the ball. We have natural class and comfort there, with: Vicente Iborra, Adrien Silva and Maguire in the spine of the team. A confident side challenging for European qualification can do more with the ball – as opposed to without in 2018.

Wilfred Ndidi is an excellent young midfield retriever – yet must work on his amount of turnovers. Often the 21-year-old wins the ball miraculously, but gives it away almost as many times in a game. Though he is a gifted talent, similarly to N’Golo Kante before him. Ndidi the apprentice actually overtook Kante in certain battle area Premier League statistics. At his young age, the Nigerian can improve. Especially as he is a particularly receptive and engaging young man.

Ben Chilwell and new signing Ricardo Pereira can potentially supply the width and speed as wing-backs. Per WhoScored, we learn that Portuguese Pereira is ambidextrous with feet: he can play on either flank. Therefore possibly allowing the equally varied Marc Albrighton in on either wing, or maybe a new signing.

Interchanging is another a feature of the three playing off-the-striker. James Maddison can switch to the left or right throughout matches and is most comfortable centrally as a No.10. While Fousseni Diabate and Demarai Gray are devastating – on a confident day – anywhere across the attacking line. Both are still a little raw, however, I expect major developments this season for them.

Gray, Maddison, Diabate and Jamie Vardy are calm and assured in possession and add immensely high tempo and momentum to any offensive move.

In either a 3-4-3 or 5-3-2, much can be achieved at both ends of the pitch. To be honest, I determine Southgate’s formation more of a 3-3-2-2. Yet the system is very close to the 3-4-3 which I believe suits Puel and the Foxes.

If the chosen set-up is 3-5-1-1 then Diabate, Gray or preferably Maddison can support Vardy as No.10, similarly to Raheem Sterling. Goals are not imperative from this position: movement frees space, attracts fouls in dangerous areas, as well as leading to assists.

England’s praised manager also ensured training was given a 100 per cent effort by all. Hard work, with respect and enjoyment whilst relaxing boosted camaraderie. Set-pieces at the World Cup, defended with toughness and vigour. Attacking dead ball scenarios oozed menace and aptitude.

Yes, England scored most not from open play – but brilliantly envisioned moves lead to fouls in and around the box – so the Three Lions would score more, theoretically, without being upended. A flexible line-up allowed width shrinkage without possession: permitting compact, high pressure defensive application.

New signings may add further to the new layout theory. For example: a centre-back of high quality to join Maguire and Jonny Evans is important. Important but not imperative – as Wes Morgan is a committed and proven champion and captain. Unfortunately his speed and decision-making do not seem as quick as before.

It is time to name Kasper Schmeichel or Harry Maguire as the new club skipper. Leaving a possible substitute as leader seems ineffective. A fresh approach: Morgan leading from behind the scenes is my vision. We all become emotional – yet heed the expression: ‘There’s no place for sentimentality in sport.’

Vardy should have featured more in the later rounds of the World Cup. Harry Kane seemed to suffer from fatigue or a rushed return from injury. The Leicester striker will thrive in this proposed system: supplying 20 league goals easily.

If Kelechi Iheanacho cannot find his scoring boots or fit in a centralised side role – a more wide-style player from the transfer market may suffice.

light. Related Story. Harry Maguire's dilemma

According to Leicester Mercury, Puel is considering a change in style this term:

"“Puel preferred a 4-2-3-1 system but with more defensive options and attacking full-backs he may switch to a 3-4-1-2.” (Via: Leicester Mercury)"

Against Akhisarspor in Wednesday’s friendly, it appeared the Foxes manager tried a new three centre-back system. Daniel Amartey and Callum Elder began in the wide areas, with Josh Knight also introduced centrally later on.