Leicester City are closing in on the signing of Belgium international Dennis Praet, according to reports from the Guardian.
The 25-year-old attacking midfielder is said to have agreed a move worth €20m (£18.4m) to Leicester and will sign a five-year contract with the club.
The Belgian has been on Leicester’s radar for much of the summer and now with one day remaining, they look to have go the deal over the line.
The midfielder has played 98 games for Sampdoria since joining from Anderlecht in 2016, scoring just the four goals and assisting six times.
Considering Rodgers has favoured using two creative midfielders since joining the club (playing with a single pivot in Wilfried Ndidi according to Transfermarkt), Leicester could really benefit with another creative midfielder in their ranks.
James Maddison and Tielemans have been favoured since Brendan Rodgers took over, but the Foxes are limited in options to replace either of those players and only have more defensive options if either of them were to get injured, such as Hamza Choudhury, Nampalys Mendy or Adrien Silva.
Praet’s stats prove he has the technical ability to thrive within Brendan Rodgers’ side. When it comes to ball control, the player averaged just 1.2 bad controls per match, better than both Maddison and Tielemans. Praet managed fewer assists than Tielemans and Maddison with just three, but he made the most amount of passes with 51.1 per match, at an impressive rate of 87.3 per cent – more than Tielemans’ 85 and Maddison’s 83.8 (all stats per WhoScored).
Even though Praet might not be a guaranteed starter, he’s a fantastic option for Rodgers and well worth the £18.4m that has been touted.
As the stats suggest, he will be able to keep possession very efficiently and will suit the style of football that Rodgers will play at Leicester. Good Ball retention is, of course, something the Leicester boss values highly, with BBC Sport highlighting back in 2017 just how dominant his Celtic side were on the ball.
At 25 he has plenty of room to grow and could be at the club for years. It is a smart way to invest just a quarter of the fee they received for Harry Maguire, and they will look a very strong outfit next season if they can find a replacement for the centre-half.
Leicester fans, would Praet be a good addition to the midfield? Join the discussion by commenting below!
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