Leicester City’s summer transfer window activity began in earnest over the last week as they completed the signings of James Justin and Ayoze Perez.
Spending £30 million for former Newcastle forward Perez, 25, and an undisclosed fee for young full-back Justin, 21, the Foxes have begun their summer with two shrewd signings to bolster Brendan Rodger’s young squad. And this looks to be just the beginning for the East Midlands side with a reported £40 million transfer for Belgian midfielder Youri Tielemans, who spent the latter half of last season on loan at the King Power stadium, apparently inches away from completion.
No time wasted for the Foxes
Leicester City have not sat back and let other teams do the talking this window, quickly completing the signings of Perez and Justin as talks continue for Tielemans in the background. Justin, following an exciting promotion season at Luton Town where he made 43 appearances and scored three goals, looks to have been brought in for cover and competition in the fullback positions after Danny Simpson’s departure from the club.
While both of Leicester’s current starting fullbacks, Ben Chilwell and Ricardo Pereira, had impressive seasons last term, Justin’s quality and the versatility of Leicester’s squad could see him get a good chunk of game time as he continues to develop.
Ayoze Perez, on the other hand, is a proven Premier League player who will likely slot into Leicester’s starting XI. Spending £30 million to trigger his release clause is nothing but a sign of intent from the Foxes, who were in need of forwards after lacking goal scoring attackers last season.
Besides Jamie Vardy’s impressive haul of 18 goals, Leicester lacked goal scorer with James Maddison the only other significant finisher with seven goals whilst a handful of others managed three or four. Perez brings with him certified finishing ability and a track record of scoring, having tallied up an impressive 13 goals in the 18/19 Premier League season and double figures in the year before as well.
Brendan Rodgers will hope that this trend will continue at the King Power Stadium and that any fears over potential inconsistencies from the Spanish forward, who can play as a winger, attacking midfielder or second striker, will be washed away by his quality.
More to come at the King Power
Leicester’s transfer activity looks to be far from over, namely in the form of Youri Tielemans. The Belgian midfielder enjoyed a fruitful loan spell at Leicester during the second half of last season, scoring three goals and assisting four in only 13 matches.
City have been pushing to complete a permanent transfer for the youngster and despite some resistance from his parent club Monaco, who initially seemed to be holding out for an offer from the highest bidder, now looks to be on the verge of signing. The reported fee of £40 million would make him the club’s record signing, but it is a justified price for an exciting, young player with bags of potential who has already thrived in the team. If the deal goes through, Leicester would take yet another step closer to building a team that has the potential to break into the Premier’s League well-established top six and the lucrative reward of European football.
Beyond this, Leicester may be pushed into making signings in the centre-back position with Harry Maguire’s future at the King Power in doubt. If he ends up in Manchester, in sky blue or red, the Foxes may look into signing Burnley defender and fellow England international James Tarkowski, according to the Leicester Mercury. Should this be the case, Maguire’s asking price of at least £80 million should be more than enough to secure Tarkowski’s services and reinvest the money in yet more young players to Rodgers’ exciting squad.
However the saga turns out, it is safe to say that Leicester City have already begun the climb towards becoming a top side. The team experienced a vast improvement following the appointment of Brendan Rodgers who, while not deviating hugely from Claude Puel’s possession-based style, tweaked it with more direct and technical elements which allowed the team to play a brand of football that generated more goals and more exciting football. Rodger’s finished the season strongly in his new role and even picked up a 3-0 thrashing of Arsenal.
Vincent Kompany’s comment after Manchester City’s 1-0 win over Leicester in the penultimate game of the season in which he stated Leicester were now essentially a “top 6 team” will give confidence to the Foxes, which will only be bolstered by these signings.
There is no doubt that in Justin, Perez and (potentially) Tielemans, Leicester City are building a case to break into the top six with young players, shrewd signings and exciting football.