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Will the arrival of Adrian Silva kickstart Leicester's season

DATE: 16.11.2017 - THE CUNNING FOX - NEWSDESK

 

England Who would have thought that the departure of midfield maestro Danny Drinkwater to champions, Chelsea, would have created such a furore of events at the King Power Stadium?


"Leicester v Reading August 13th 2011 Ki" (CC BY-SA 2.0) by boloveselvis

The then-Foxes boss, Craig Shakespeare was forced to move quickly to sign a replacement with Drinkwater leaving late in the August transfer window and Sporting Lisbon’s Adrien Silva appeared to fit the bill – a player coming into the prime of his career at 28 and with a solid goalscoring record of 32 goals in 168 competitive games for Sporting.

The despair of City only being able to finalise the paperwork on the transfer a mere 14 seconds after the August deadline left the Foxes light in midfield until the New Year and eventually cost Shakespeare his job.Silva has voiced his anger at FIFA’s decision to reject City’s appeal to enable him to play before

January, leaving the midfield schemer lacking match sharpness and facing the prospect of missing out on a place in the Portuguese national squad for next summer’s World Cup in Russia.Domestically, Silva has been unable to help City in their bid to secure their position in the top half of the table again this term.

With more than a quarter of the season now elapsed, the Foxes sit just four points above the drop zone, but equally only two points below eighth-placed Brighton.

The surprising appointment of Claude Puel after his back-door exit from mid-table rivals Southampton raised many eyebrows in the East Midlands but credible recent wins over Swansea and Everton and a battling draw at Stoke have raised expectations about better times still being ahead at the KP.

 

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Certainly, most fears of relegation have been allayed among the betting fraternity, with football tips pricing the Foxes as long as 25/1 for the drop this term.

So, where will Silva slot in to Puel’s system come January? In the 2-2 draw at Stoke, Leicester lined up in a 4-3-3 formation, with Demarai Gray and Shinji Okazaki playing either side of central striker, Jamie Vardy. Meanwhile, a fit and firing Riyad Mahrez was in the midfield trio alongside Iborra and Ndidi.

The latter is very much seen as a holding midfielder to screen the backline so it would appear that Silva will be in competition with Mahrez and Iborra for a start. In fact, cynics might suggest that Silva was signed as a replacement for Mahrez, who looked highly likely to depart for pastures new in August.


But with the Algerian wizard still in LE1, Puel is going to have to find a system that accommodates both of his potential match-winners – if Mahrez doesn’t ‘do one’ in January, of course!. Silva is certainly a box-to-box player, with the ability to score double figures in a season.

He was player-of-the-season at Sporting back in 2014/15 when he notched 10 competitive goals and helped his side to win the Portuguese Cup.

At 5ft 9”, he certainly doesn’t have the physical prowess that Iborra possesses at 6ft 3”, but they could certainly link up well together as part of a midfield three, moving Mahrez either further up the pitch or selling him on.
 

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 The Portuguese has been linked previously to both Chelsea and Tottenham, underlining his standing and pedigree in the game, so Silva will certainly be welcomed into the squad with open arms for a gruelling second half of the campaign.


"Greens give it their best against Belgiu" (CC BY 2.0) by Magharebia



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