Leicester City are targeting Stoke City defender Harry Souttar. Here is what you need to know and why this transfer would make sense for the Foxes.
According to those reports, the King Power club have made a bid around £10m which was rejected by Stoke. This makes perfect sense. For the Red and White club, the Australian international has been a solid and strong defender this season, so just £10m probably feels a little rough: a fee closer to £15m is likely to be accepted though as they need funds for their goalkeeping situation at the moment.
Of course, the 24-year-old is not a particularly flashy name, nor is he some high-profile brilliant defender. But, that is the old way of the Foxes: buy lesser cared for players who can still be impactful on the side. This should be seen no differently to buying Harry Maguire.
Why Leicester City should get their man
Souttar will be worth it. At the moment, Brendan Rodgers’ side does not trust two of their five central defenders, with one more incessantly being injured, and another being just not good enough. Only Wout Faes offers quality and is trusted by Rodgers. So, the Belgian needs a partner. They have already signed another defender as well.
In the past, I myself have usually raved about players such as Maxence Lacroix, however getting a deal for that player in January would be like trying to sign Luke Shaw: not a likely deal. Instead, Rodgers is aiming to improve the option offered by Daniel Amartey: a less technically gifted, but still strong and passionate defender.
Souttar passes the test. According to FB Ref, he is in the 99th percentile for clearances made, 92nd for aerial duels won, and 72nd for tackles: clearly, the Australian defender is a solid CB composed and strong enough to make the right decisions. At the same time, the player is not one to rush forward, he tends to stay back, which allows more liberty to Faes who does like to progress.
This is the dynamic of Amartey and Faes, besides occasional gallops forward, Amartey is not a progressive defender, and nor does he offer a real defensive instinct to snuff out chances. Brighton & Hove Albion’s second goal recently showed as much.
Souttar would add experience, grit, quality, and a clear upgrade on our current offering. Most of all, the 24-year-old is an option for a different style of play, not just an add-on to what we have: tactical versatility is obviously critical. Souttar is a perfect fit for Rodgers’ team.