Dominik Szoboszlai is another name linked with a move to Leicester City. The versatile Hungarian winger currently plies his trade at Red Bull Salzburg in the Austrian Bundesliga.
Worth an estimated £12.15m, Szoboszlai was linked with the likes of Juventus and Arsenal during last summer’s transfer window and after another impressive season under his belt, should Leicester City pursue his signature?
His presence on the ball is similar to former West Ham United winger, Marco Arnautovic. Szoboszlai is 6’1” and is blessed with a natural blend of pace and power that makes him increasingly difficult to stop once he begins running down the left wing.
Although the wingman reportedly wanted by the King Power side is a natural left winger, Red Bull Salzburg manager, Jesse Marsch, has experimented with playing him in more central areas of the pitch because of his athleticism. Throughout Salzburg’s UEFA Europa League campaign this season, the Hungarian played both games as a central midfielder, rewarded with an assist in the home leg against Eintracht Frankfurt.
Similarly to former Foxes winger Riyad Mahrez, Szoboszlai favours cutting inside on his right-foot and developing chances from the centre. More so than using the full extent of the wing for a cross. His awareness of passing options is also impressive, even in high octane situations. During counter attacking phases, the 19-year-old almost always picks the correct pass.
Once in the central areas of the pitch, Szoboszlai is incredibly gifted at disguising passes. An asset he frequently utilises to create chances for Red Bull Salzburg. It’s this ability that’s seen parallels drawn between the Hungarian and James Maddison, hence why he’s being touted as a possible replacement for the Englishman, if he was to leave this summer.
Currently, Szoboszlai isn’t at the same level. Maddison is four years his senior and that’s reflected in the quality of the two players. As a direct replacement this summer, Szoboszlai would be considered a downgrade and that’s being polite.
However, an impressive attribute of the Hungarian is his consistency of performance, even when competing in Europe’s elite league. Red Bull Salzburg were drawn in a UEFA Champions League group with Liverpool, S.S.C Napoli and K.R.C Genk, throughout these six fixtures, Szoboszlai only missed a single game – at home to Napoli and provided two goal contributions in the other five.
Stats of Leicester City target
In the Austrian Bundesliga, Szoboszlai averages a goal contribution every 145 minutes. Albeit not overly impressive, he still remains a focal point of Red Bull Salzburg’s attack.
Should the Foxes buy Szoboszlai?
If the Foxes were to buy him as a starting left winger, I don’t think it’s a justifiable switch: Harvey Barnes offers a similar playstyle and arguably a brighter future. However, if Brendan Rodgers was looking for a substitute, able to operate anywhere across the Leicester City midfield, then for less than £15m, Szoboszlai would be a fantastic signing.
Considering the potential fixture congestion if Rodgers’ side are able to qualify for the UEFA Champions League, adding quality to the squad should be a top priority and I believe Szoboszlai would provide just that.