Things to know about Leicester City transfer target Florentino Luis

Leicester City need reinforcements if they are to survive in the Premier League. With Steve Cooper in charge, the Foxes are searching for midfielders to replace the outgoings, as well as provide depth for Cooper’s team. Here is the latest link.
SL Benfica v SC Braga - Liga Portugal Betclic
SL Benfica v SC Braga - Liga Portugal Betclic / Gualter Fatia/GettyImages

The King Power club still have an uncertain future. With the sale of Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall to ease PSR difficulties, the lack of clarity on Wilfred Ndidi’s situation, and the unreadiness of the youth starlets, and amidst the return of Bihbakary Soumare, there remains a need for the Foxes to bring in new faces in centre pitch. They need someone who can stay for a long time, or carry a strong fee in the future.

Possible relegation rival media for Everton has been discussing Leicester City’s entry into the race to sign Benfica’s Florentino Luis, the Portuguese midfielder. At 24-years-old, Luis is entering his prime as a player, will not come cheap, but certainly offers a strong option for the Foxes.

What Leicester City must know

As is my usual, it is important we understand the position the player would have in the the team, the stylistic preferences of the talent, as well as the value in both cost and benefit to Leicester in signing the Portuguese midfielder.

Firstly, Luis is of course a defensive midfielder: primarily tasked with being an anchour at the base of a midfield trio, but has also operated at times as part of a more dynamic duo. Acting as the main link between defenders and the more creative midfielders, Cooper’s possible future man effectively takes the traditional Ndidi role.

Starting from deeper, the player collects the ball, and mainly makes short passes forward or sideways to retain possession and progress slowly. From there, he likes to push forward to support a press, and possibly support ball retention. If Benfica loses the ball, the talent rushes back into a defensive position to either intercept or make tackles.

This positional flexibility is perhaps most represented in his heatmap for the prior campaign: the player almost covers every part of the pitch. Leicester would effectively be bringing a talent that runs all over the place, but is usually back in position when needed. For those struggling to imagine what I mean, think of the style of player Ngolo Kante was: it felt as if there were multiple of him on the pitch as they showed up further forward, at the back, or on the wings.

That being said, the Foxes should also know that although the Portuguese midfielder does get back into position, the player is unlikely to intercept passes: perhaps due to being out of position for that potential, possibly due to a less-tuned danger sense. Instead, Luis usually makes a tackle or simply gets into a strong position. So, he would be a brilliant addition to the King Power side.

However, you have to be offloading one of Ndidi (who may not sign a new deal) or Soumare to justify bringing in Luis. After all, we cannot start our four best midfielders without a major formation change. As such, I would expect this signing to depend on whether Ndidi chooses to stay or on if the Foxes sell Soumare. The player would cost around £30m to sign, so is certainly not a cheap addition to the squad and would have to immediately be in the first team.

So, we could see a midfield of Harry Winks, Florentino Luis, and Boubakary Soumare under Steve Cooper. This being said, it is also hard to imagine us - with all our PSR difficulties - spending that sort of money on one player, when we still need at least one winger and possibly a centre-back should Wout Faes depart. However, if the Nigerian midfielder does not sign a new deal, it would be wise to bring in such a box-to-box talent to support the team.