Leicester to sacrifice signing a defender to secure a right-winger

Leicester City

Leicester City’s King Power Stadium (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

Ozan Kabak is a logical signing for Leicester City; presenting the opportunity to purchase an up-and-coming talent, with a high ceiling. With Schalke being relegated from the Bundesliga, a startlingly low £8.5m asking price seems reasonable for the promising starlet, despite his difficult season. Up to now, Leicester City have spent much of the transfer window in the market for a centre-back, with James Tarkowski, Sebastian Caceres and now Ozan Kabak all linked with moves.

Regarding Kabak, several reports were linking the Turk to Leicester. However, Talksport’s Jason Bourne has poured cold water on such reports, stating the Kabak links to be ‘nonsense’. It’s worth keeping an eye out to see which direction events progress, although the transfer now seems unlikely; with Leicester preferring to spend on a right-winger instead.

Other priorities

It’s no secret Leicester City have been hit hard by the pandemic, recording losses of £67.9m in 2020. Therefore, money needs to be spent judiciously, as it has already on three signings.

Leicester City clearly sees the need for a first-choice winger as more pressing than improving depth at centre-back; which FOL agree is a good idea since LCFC will struggle to compete without a dynamic right-winger. This is not intended to disrespect the only RW at LCFC in Marc Albrighton, his merits have been praised here.

Nevertheless, Leicester need a winger who provides more output and can complement the excellent Harvey Barnes on the left. On this topic, Domenico Berardi was the primary target for the Foxes, with negotiations taking place in recent weeks. Unfortunately, the deal broke down over terms of payment, with Leicester City only willing to pay £24m upfront.

Therefore, the Foxes focus has shifted to younger, cheaper targets in the form of Noni Madueke and Dan James. Both are exciting talents, although their end product needs to be refined, and in James’ case, his confidence needs to be restored. Maybe other options may come out of the blue, such as Viktor Tsygankov who would certainly fit what Leicester City are looking for. As for now, however, Madueke and James are the main targets for Leicester City.

A shift in formation for Leicester City?

There is some good news about the prioritisation of a winger over a CB, it may signal the return to a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 formation, as opposed to a three at the back. Although playing a 3-4-1-2 served LCFC well at times last season, a 4-2-3-1 allows players such as Barnes to be used in their favoured positions. In a back four, the need for a starting fourth centre-back is unlikely to be so great, barring an injury crisis.

Nevertheless, the issue of a leadership void in the absence of Jonny Evans remains a niggling problem, and it’s up to Söyüncü and Fofana to step into the breach if they are needed. Cags in particular is an excellent centre-back but needs to become slightly less impetuous if he is to lead the defence. Furthermore, Daniel Amartey has shown he can deputise, even if fans have criticised his displays at times.

Whatever happens, you can trust decisions will be made in LCFC’s best interests; protecting its financial sustainability as well as its on-pitch performance. After all, Jon Rudkin has a generally positive track record, barring a few blemishes. Let’s hope the remaining transfer business does not fall into the latter category.