When it comes to recruitment Leicester City have pound for pound been one of the best in the football business in the last decade. From the days of picking up the likes of Jamie Vardy, Harry Maguire, Riyad Mahrez and N’Golo Kante to the more recent signings of James Maddison Wesley Fofana and Youri Tielemans, the Foxes know how to spot a bargain.
In the market for bargains this summer
It looks like the club from the Midlands are once again proving to be shrewd in this summer’s transfer market. The Foxes are reported to be close to completing an £18million deal to sign Lille’s highly-rated central midfielder Boubakary Soumare.
The 22-year-old is seen by many as one of the brightest young players of his type in the world game. He is the sort of midfielder that can get his team up the pitch, while also being an expert at intercepting opposition attacks, without diving into tackles or leaving himself open to committing fouls. As a midfielder, he is certainly more defensive than attack-minded. He could prove to a good alternative or even partner for Wilfred Ndidi.
The second deal that Leicester are in negotiations to complete is to sign Celtic forward Odsonne Edouard. Reports suggest that the clubs are talking with a mooted fee of around the same as Soumare’s. However, the deal is not as close to completion as the one for the French midfielder.
Edouard has impressed with Celtic since his arrival back in 2017 when now Leicester head coach Brendan Rodgers was in charge at Parkhead. The 23-year-old has scored 74 goals in 139 appearances for the Hoops, which is a good record for any striker.
Leicester already have two quality strikers in Jamie Vardy and Nigerian international Kelechi Iheanacho. Adding Edouard to the mix could make the Foxes even more dangerous in attack.
Another top-four challenge beckons next season
Leicester’s shrewd recruitment has turned the Foxes into a real force in the Premier League. However, Rodgers’ team has missed out on top-four finishes on the final day of the last two top-flight campaigns. The new additions will add to Rodgers options for next season, as Leicester look to mount another challenge on the top-four. With other teams around them likely to strengthen, the Foxes need to do likewise to have any chance of finishing in those Champions League spots.
Leicester may not have finished in the top four in recent seasons, but they have slowly and surely built a highly impressive squad of players that by modern standards have not cost them big money. They are in many ways an example of what can be achieved with clever recruitment.
Other clubs have wasted big money in their pursuit of challenging for a top-four spot, (Everton we are looking at you). Yet, Leicester have gone about their business in such a clever way. They recruit players develop them and then sell them for big transfers fees. They then reinvest the money into bringing in more promising players and the cycle is repeated, keeping the club financially stable off the pitch and extremely competitive on it.
This summer seems to be another bargain hunting one for Leicester. To potential sign Soumare and Edouard for less than £40million looks to be shrewd business indeed.
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Is there a club better at recruitment than Leicester in the Premier League?