After Leicester City’s success in the 2016/17 Champions League campaign, management at the club spotted a potential opportunity for some business after the hard fought last 16 test against five times Europa League winners, Sevilla.
This comes in the form of 29-year-old midfielder, Vicente Iborra who is looking increasingly likely to join the East Midlands club as long as everything goes swimmingly regarding a medical and personal terms.
The versatile midfielder is set to make his way from Sevilla, where he spent four seasons, to the King Power for a fee believed to be around £12-15 million according to reports. Iborra’s physicality and height makes him an ideal target from set pieces, an area Leicester have struggled with in recent years even with the presence of Robert Huth and Wes Morgan.
Iborra, mostly deployed in the centre of the field for Sevilla gained an impressive seven goals in 31 league appearances last season. As club captain, he guided Sevilla to a fourth place finish in La Liga, once again obtaining their place amongst Europe’s elite. It’s suggested Iborra has always fancied a move to England to play in the Premier League and it’s reported he was close to a £7m move to Sunderland last summer before the deal fell through. Now, with a move to LCFC, this gives him the perfect opportunity to show his talent and abilities at a club who have a great system in place in order to be successful in the Premier League.
Yet, with Wilfred Ndidi stabilising his spot in the starting XI last season alongside England’s Danny Drinkwater what are the options for Iborra and Leicester?
With club legend Andy King taking a space on the bench in most games last season and with the return of Matthew James from a loan spell at Barnsley, the arrival of Iborra may leave Shakespeare with some selection problems and sleepless nights with regards to his wide array of central midfielders at the club.
At times, last season Leicester played with one man up top in Jamie Vardy, with this a possibility it could allow Iborra to sit alongside Drinkwater and Ndidi in the centre of the park with one taking a more defensive stance or an attacking mind-set depending on the calibre of the opposition.
Last season, Iborra found himself often playing as an attacking midfielder for Sevilla which is a position which would suit Leicester and himself, as a 4-4-1-1 formation was a formation often chosen by Ranieri and Shakespeare at Leicester last season. This would give Iborra the chance to show his experience in linking with his midfielders and attackers and would give him the chance to add a few goals too.
Once the deal is cemented and Iborra joins Leicester, it is vital that he doesn’t join and take a place on the bench as a player with his evident experience and leadership abilities. Should Shakespeare give Iborra the chance to play and perform, he could be an exciting prospect for Leicester’s Premier League ambitions.
Written by Eamon Kitching.