Leicester City were forced to wave goodbye to Riyad Mahrez earlier this week as the electric Algerian completed a £60 million switch to Manchester City, putting a welcome end to months of speculation in the process.
The transfer of Mahrez to Man City had a feeling of inevitability about it for quite some time, so the Leicester supporters will be pleased that the club can finally move on and build for the future without him.
In the aftermath of the mega-money deal, Claude Puel’s immediate focus should concern his search for a quality replacement and, according to a recent report from Italian media outlet TuttoSport(via 90min), Leicester’s manager already has his eye on one of Serie A’s most talented wide players, namely Iago Falque.
Leicester’s 28-year-old target has become something of a journeyman in European football throughout his career, but he now plays his trade at Torino in Serie A where he really enjoyed himself last season.
After beginning his career in Barcelona’s youth academy, Falque has since moved to Juventus, Tottenham Hotspur, Southampton and Roma to name only a handful of clubs he has played for, but it seems has finally settled in Turin.
Like Mahrez, Falque is a left-footed player who prefers to cut-inside from the right-wing onto his favoured foot, and his quality in this regard makes him an ideal candidate to fill the void left by the Algeria international.
With a brilliant record of 14 goals and 10 assists from 40 appearances last season, there’s no doubt that Falque possesses a decisive end-product in the final-third which would enable Leicester to maintain their potency next season – even in the absence of Mahrez.
Although a right-sided role is the one which Falque is most naturally suited to, he is also capable of playing in a number ten role behind the striker, which could prove to be a useful weapon for Puel to exploit next season.
The extent of Torino’s asking price is unclear at this stage, but with Leicester’s sale of Mahrez in mind they are likely to up their demands accordingly.
Understandably, the Foxes will be cautious to spend their recently accumulated funds wisely in the market but, based on both Falque’s playing style and record in Serie A last season, their latest target appears well-placed to step into Mahrez’s shoes at the King Power.
Leicester City fans – thoughts? Let us know below!