Leicester City coach unusually reveals possible transfer target

Leicester City

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

One of Leicester City’s transfer targets may just have been revealed by one of the club’s coaches, and it’s a very interesting one. Guy Branston – Leicester’s 18-23’s loan manager – recently spoke to Egyptian TV channel Al Ahly and revealed that he is keen to bring Mohamed Elneny to the club.

It’s unprecedented that a coach of a club would go on TV and pick out individuals that he would like to sign, but perhaps Branston’s role at the club – the fact that he is nothing to do with the recruitment team – meant that he felt he was free to talk about his ideal candidates.

Currently at Arsenal, Elneny is an experienced CDM who has played on the big stage in the Champions League (he scored an absolute screamer against Barcelona at the Camp Nou for Arsenal) and has racked up 140 appearances for the London side. Joining from FC Basel in 2016 in a £11m move, Elneny has a knack of scoring long range stunners, his best coming against Dundalk in the Europa League.

Whilst the 29-year-old has well over a century of appearances for Arsenal, he has become a bit-part player of late and is firmly out of Mikel Arteta’s plans having only made one start in the Premier League so far this season. With that in mind, and with his contract expiring in the summer, the Gunners will undoubtedly want to cash in on him or else face losing him on a free.

As reported by HITC, Branston mentioned wanting to sign ‘ players such as Mohamed Elneny’ saying that he would make a move for the Egyptian ‘if given the chance’.

Expanding on who he would like Leicester to sign, Branston said:

“I believe there are Egyptian players who can play for Leicester. I know that Al Ahly has provided players that have done well in the Premier League. During the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations, we will be watching African footballers, especially Egyptian ones.”

– Leicester City’s Guy Branston

Elneny hasn’t just made a name of himself in England, he enjoyed a successful loan stint with Turkish giants Besiktas in the 2019/20 season, making 36 appearances and scoring 1 goal. He is also an established international for his country having made 82 appearances for Egypt since his debut in 2011.

He is currently away playing in the African Cup of Nations alongside Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah and Aston Villa’s Trezeguet. It is at AFCON that Elneny could really show what he can offer to his next club, as well as to Arteta.

The question now is if he would be a good signing for Leicester. Operating on a smaller budget for the January window, Elneny offers a vast amount of experience and robustness for a limited fee. Transfermarkt currently have him listed as being worth £8m, but I would imagine a figure closer to £5m would be enough to lure him away from the Emirates.

With Nampalys Mendy destined to be leaving the club in January, and with Hamza Choudhury’s future at the club uncertain, the Foxes could really do with adding to the squad, especially with such an experienced player. Elneny isn’t a flashy signing, but he could be really smart business.