"We have mentioned many times that Callum gives us this solution with the left that we miss... because it’s open, the transfer window, something is going to happen"- Enzo Maresca
The Foxes are in need of reinforcements in the winter window should the continue their march at the top of the EFL Championship table. Those comments from Enzo Maresca give us a glimpse of what is to come in the window: Leicester are looking for defenders. We have already covered a fullback link here, and now a centre-back link.
Leicester City linked to Lucas Beraldo
The latest centre-back link is to left-sided defender Beraldo. The player has reportedly been the subject of interest from several top-tier sides including Wolverhampton Wanderers, Liverpool, and Bayern Munich. The former of which is believed to have submitted a bid which was ultimately rejected in the summer. The type of clubs looking at the player exemplify the quality and promise of this talent.
The King Power club lost Callum Doyle to injury, and are currently using James Justin to fill in that gap. However, he is not a natural left-sided centre-back and although has been brilliant, a more natural talent is Maresca's priority. A signing would also free up Justin to compete with Ricardo Pereira on the right.
Three things you should know
Leicester City will have done a lot of research to have decided upon the Brazilian defender. We already know a brief bit about the player, however I would argue that we should look at more depth into the position and style he performs, the value in the deal, and what a signing would look like in our squad.
Beraldo is a left-sided centre-back by trade, although he has at times performed on the right side of the defensive line. When looking at his heat map, we see a player who likes to travel into the opposition's defensive half and primarily performs his duties on the left. A progressive defender.
The young Brazilian is on a deal which expires in 2028, so there is certainly no push from Sao Paulo to sell the player at any low value. The Foxes would have to pony up a significant sum to pry the star from the South American side: the package planned is thought to be around £17m. Being so young though, his value could grow swiftly in a higher division.
3. Place in the team
With the injury to English defender Doyle, it is obvious where Beraldo would come in to. Leicester would look to bring in a natural competitor for Doyle and a long-term option at the back. He will likely be the first team choice until the Englishman returns from injury, and then his place will depend upon performances.
Overall then, we paint a picture of a highly energetic, progressive, and youthful defender. As we have briefly outlined, his heat map is forward-looking, and his position is clear. This is further illustrated by his rankings by FB Ref. Beraldo is within the 92nd percentile for progressive passes attempted, and 89th for pass completion; does that sound familiar to anyone?
That is the style of defender Wout Faes, Jannik Vestergaard, and Justin are expected to be: aerially dominant, progressive, and neat in the pass. That is what Beraldo would bring to the King Power, more neatness at the back and more passion to get the ball flowing the right direction. It is however worth pointing out that stylistically the player does not rush into the challenge, preferring to be a block between attacker and goal rather than an active defence.
I do not think I could complain about a left-sided Faes-style player. Leicester City may be looking to bring the talent in the January window, although that might be a difficult deal to get over the line without some guarantees around Premier League football in the next campaign. I would certainly go in for the player, although perhaps not for £17m.
There is plenty of work to do in the winter window, and a nice new year's gift for the Foxes would be a new defender, a new winger, and midfielder to really bring home the Championship. What positions do you feel the King Power club should prioritise this window? Let Foxes of Leicester know on our socials.