Leicester City’s wide forward targets – ranked by suitability

Continuing the trend of recent summers, Leicester City have completed three very impressive pieces of transfer business already this window.

Boubakary Soumare, a key cog in Lille’s Ligue 1 winning side last season and likely a long-term Youri Tielemans replacement, has been snapped up. Meanwhile, the Foxes have made moves for rumour mill ever-present Patson Daka and wily veteran Ryan Bertrand. 

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So far, so good. The Foxes are open to further signings as well, particularly as they will be competing on multiple fronts against this season. 

One area they are said to be considering strengthening is out wide. With Cengiz Under returning to Roma after a poor loan, Rachid Ghezzal set to depart and Ayoze Perez never convincing in this role, it makes sense that the Foxes move to give Harvey Barnes some competition.

They have been linked with several names already this season, but which of them would be best suited to life at the King Power Stadium? 

Arnaut Danjuma

Danjuma is an expensive risk / Alex Pantling/Getty Images

Bournemouth have a lot of high earners still on their books – a hangover from their lengthy spell in the Premier League. Instead of selling last summer, they kept hold of most of their big names and failure to win promotion back to the big time last season has left them in a financial pickle. 

If this sounds like opportune conditions for a Premier League club raiding party, think again. Recent reports suggest that the Cherries intend to demand £35m for winger Arnaut Danjuma, one of Leicester’s potential targets. 

So, is he worth it? In short, probably not. 

Danjuma enjoyed an impressive 2020/21 season, netting 17 times and providing eight assists in 37 games, but he previously struggled to assert himself in the Premier League. During the previous campaign he did not contribute to a single goal in 14 appearances. 

He also prefers to operate off the left hand side, a position which, barring exceptional circumstances, Barnes is likely to have on lockdown from the start of the season. This is one to avoid unless his asking price decreases markedly.

Philippe Coutinho

It would be fun, but Leicester would struggle to afford Coutinho / Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Philippe Coutinho to Leicester is the transfer rumour that refuses to go away. With Barcelona in financial turmoil, they are extremely keen to get the underwhelming Brazilian off their books. 

As much as Brendan Rodgers might be tempted into a reunion, and as much as Coutinho still has something to give any Premier League side, the move just does not feel right. 

Key to Leicester’s surprise success of the past few years has been their togetherness. They have consistently recruited either model professionals or younger players with a point to prove. Coutinho’s arrival – on wages as high as £250,000 – has the potential to unsettle this dynamic. 

Leicester have never bought a ready-made superstar and are unlikely to break that habit this summer. 

Matheus Pereira

Matheus Pereira was productive in a terrible Premier League team last season / Alex Livesey – Danehouse/Getty Images

West Brom offered few reasons for fans to get excited last season. One of the bright spots was Matheus Pereira, the tricky Brazilian winger who looked very much at home in the top flight. 

Finishing the season with 11 goals and six assists, Pereira has unsurprisingly been linked with a return to the Premier League this summer. He has a lot going for him as well. 

Capable of playing either behind the striker(s) in a number 10 role or off the right hand side, Leicester could kill two birds with one stone by bringing him in.

Once again, the big stumbling block in this deal would be his asking price. West Brom are said to want somewhere in the region of £30m for Pereira, which seems steep. At 25, he does not quite fit Leicester’s ordinary recruitment profile either.

Domenico Berardi

Berardi registered two assists at Euro 2020 / Claudio Villa/Getty Images

Domenico Berardi’s contribution to Italy’s Euro 2020 triumph has transformed him from a hipster’s favourite to a household name overnight.

Supposedly valued at €40m, he is one of several Sassuolo players to be linked with a move away from Serie A’s premier entertainers this summer. 

There is a lot to like about Berardi. A terrific finisher from both inside and outside the box he netted 17 times last season, though seven of his goals came from the penalty spot.

In addition the right sided inside forward is a solid ball carrier and has creativity in abundance. Off the ball he is underrated as well, suggesting he would have no issue adapting to the defensive demands Rodgers imposes on his wideman. 

The signing is incredibly tempting then. Perhaps the only issue is the price tag. Fresh from constructing a new £100m training facility, Leicester are not expected to spend big this summer. However, it might be worth making an exception for a player of Berardi’s evident talent.

Noni Madueke

Madueke has been linked with a return to England / BSR Agency/Getty Images

Noni Madueke has been attracting plenty of rave reviews since taking the brave decision to move from Tottenham to PSV Eindhoven in 2018.  

Last season was his breakout year. He managed seven goals and six assists just 24 games, as well as making his maiden Europa League appearance. A tricky right sided winger who loves to cut inside and shoot, Madueke has already been capped by England at Under-21 level and with Donyell Malen set to join Borussia Dortmund he is in line for an even bigger role at PSV this term. 

Or…he could make a move to the Premier League. Madueke is your typical Leicester signing: young, hungry with huge re-sale potential. 

One report has quoted PSV’s asking price at just £15m, well within what the Foxes will be looking to spend before the window slams shut. Madueke’s value will only increase over time as well. It may be worth pulling the trigger in the next few weeks.

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Author: XenBet

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