It’s time for the third—and final—part of the mini-series, where I address some potential options to play as the right-winger for Leicester City next season.
I want to first suggest the profile of winger the Foxes recruitment should be interested in. With elite teams across Europe relying a lot on their wingers (particularly teams that play inside of a 4–3–3 structure—such as Liverpool), to have a good goal-scoring output, this will be high on the list of demands.
If you delve deeper into the signings by the top two Premier League clubs from last season’s campaign, you can see that both Manchester City and Liverpool have invested a large percentage of their respective budgets into “traditional #9’s” (Erling Haaland and Darwin Nunez), as this seems to be the tactical transition both Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp are shifting towards—making the winger in these systems more creative-orientated. This is basically a long-winded way of saying that the winger needs to have a good output for both goals and assists (anything upwards of 6/7 in both metrics would meet my personal quota).
After that, I think it’s important that the RW is naturally left-footed, but with confidence to manipulate defenders by going wide and using their “weaker” foot for creation. Think back to Riyad Mahrez, a strong left-footed carrier, that could suggest to defenders he’s utilising either side by having confidence—and competence—on his right-foot. So, predominantly left-footed but capable with either. The last of my demands—extras are always welcome—is a good dribbler. Currently, there’s a lack of dribbler profiles inside the club, and it’s imperative that a winger can bypass the opposition full-back in one-on-one situations, for quite obvious reasons.
Before I find profiles that meet the demands I’ve set out, I would like to address comments I believe to be true—and have made frequently throughout all of my Twitter threads this season, James Maddison’s best position for Leicester City is at RW. I will do a much deeper article reflecting on this, but I wanted to preface the recruitment process by stating that I think Brendan Rodgers should utilise the 25-year-old as a “false winger”. However, I still think having a player with undeniable talent, perhaps providing more width-focused qualities, is an area to target for the Foxes.