player reported to have signed, the squad and the way forward
DATE: 04.08.2018 /- TCF - FILBERTWAY
Claude Puel fielded his best side
against Lille, of the players he had available, and got a good
result. A new player is reported to be signing soon. But still there
are plenty to do to get the right shape in place.
The Lille game showed that Leicester are, as they were against
Valencia, more forward orientated and they are eager to attack and
really push for goals. Puel will certainly try to play with all "the
tools in the box".
There are also great to see so many youngsters getting a chance and
really showing skills and ability that is needed to get a more pacy
team with more willingness, and of course the form of Kelechi
Iheanacho is really the big positive this summer.
The negative part of this is that everything is done in a very short
time and it looks a bit shocking from a fans point of view to see so
massive changes during a couple of weeks, despite the fact that we
all knew that Puel would be looking for changes.
Rumours out there links Leicester City with a
number of players and today we can see that several tabloids reports
about a new player coming in, and allready cleared for his medical,
the player is
Rachid Ghezzal. Algerian international currently playing for
Other players being closely linked are Adnan Januzaj and Thorgan
Hazard, who are both reporting back from the World Cup after winning
bronze with Belgium. Jack Grealish is also a player that has been in
the rumour mill for a while, being linked with Leicester a few weeks
Leicester have not signed a player to cover the position of Riyad
Mahrez and with Demaraj Gray uncertain and Fousseni Diabate looking
a bit unfinished and a young Layton Ndukwu as alternatives, it might
be good to get a better option in.
If Leicester decides to go for Ghezzal it could still be an opening
for two more players.
Changes in the coaching staff also, with both Plancque and Appleton
leaving, looks a bit strange and the plan of Puel is one not really
easy to understand, and it looks more like a buss station at the
moment, with players and staff coming and going.
The squad is, as Puel said, still too big and players must be
shipped out. Musa is gone, but we believe that King, Kapustka,
Slimani, Ulloa, Mendy and Simpson all will be leaving before the
transfer window close.
Darnell Johnson is a youngster that has played a lot in the
pre-season friendlies and the England U.20 international is one that
Claude Puel probably is eager to keep, but the player needs first
team football to progress and that will probably be a problem.
The ideal shape of a squad is to have 8 to 10 players who you regard
as your certainties in your team. three or four players who are
fighting for a place and very close. A couple of very expierenced
players who do their job when getting a game, and then the rest up
to 22 to 24 players, youngsters under the age of 23, mostly happy to
be part of the progress.
This will keep most heads happy and at the same time keep the
hierarchy among players in the right shape. If you ignore this, as
Ranieri and maybe Shakespeare did, you will end up with a squad like
Puel has inherited, it's a bit of a mess.
A number of the players who are in the "shipping out" list of Puel,
might not be easy to sell since they are on heavy wages and it might
be difficult to handle, then loan moves must be an option, not going
around at Belvoir Drive, not being able to train properly.
To have players not playing regularly is a nightmare for a coach,
and not being able to give them what they are supposed to get is a
bit difficult. U.23 is not an alternetive for players over the age
of 30 with loads of first team appearances, it will never work.
With both Maguire and Vardy uncertain for the game against
Manchester United, it will be difficult to pick the best team, but
to see both of them left out looks strange, would have named Vardy
on the bench and Maguire in the team.
This is how tcf believe the Leicester City squad should look like,
with the right blend of the right type of experience, age, foreign
influence and winning mentality and strength.
Goalkeepers: Schmeichel, Jakupovic
Defenders: Amartey, Pereira, Evans, Morgan, Maguire, Benalouane,
Midfield: Maddison, Ndidi, Silva, Iborra, Gray, X, Albrighton, X
Forwards: Iheanacho, Vardy, Okazaki, X
Transfer List: Slimani, Kapustka, King, Mendy, James, Ulloa, Amartey,
Loan Option: Diabate, Choudhury, Gordon
To keep and challenging: Ward, Ndukwu, Johnson, Knight, Hughes
Still too many questions and not really easy to see how this squad
will shape up, but still need of three more quality signings, and to
make too many changes too fast is always a great risk, so very
uncertain about the way forward, but hopefully it will be ok.
I am seeing a manager under a bit of pressure who are trying to make
changes among players and staff to buy a bit of time for himself,
but if he starts losing games, this will not give him any time.
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