The Leicester City fans in the Transfer Tavern are resigned to losing Riyad Mahrez to Manchester City this summer and they are desperately hoping they will receive Patrick Roberts as part of the deal.
The Riyad Mahrez transfer saga continues to drag on with Manchester City and Leicester City yet to reach an agreement, but recent reports from the Daily Telegraph suggest talks regarding a cash plus player deal are still ongoing. Patrick Roberts is believed to be heading in the direction of the King Power as part of the transfer which could still cost City £60 million even including the 21-year-old.
Although losing Mahrez will certainly represent a huge blow to Claude Puel’s side, the proposed deal represents a very productive piece of business. Roberts is lacking experience in the Premier League, but the quality he has demonstrated throughout his loan spell at Celtic and at England youth level suggests he will grow into a fantastic player in the years to come.
However, his arrival could spell the end of Diabete’s career at Leicester after just 6 months, as the increase in competition for places will leave him surplus to requirements. The 22-year-old has shown plenty of promise since his January transfer from Ajaccio without setting the world alight just yet, but neither did Riyad Mahrez when he first arrived in England.
With that in mind, Leicester might be wise to consider sending him out on loan next season to gain first-team experience rather than selling him on a permanent deal. With raw pace and direct dribbling to bring to the table, Diabate could develop into a menacing attacker in the years to come, but he will need time to work on his end-product and decision-making in order to realise the full extent of his potential.
With competition for places in forward positions already strong with the likes of Demarai Gray, Marc Albrighton, Jamie Vardy, Kelechi Iheanacho, Shinji Okazaki and Patrick Roberts (valued at £6.75 million by Transfermarkt) to potentially add to the equation, Diabete could find himself on the fringes of the first-team next season, so a summer transfer may be in his best interests.
Whether Leicester manage to convince Roberts to join them this summer remains to be seen, but if they are successful in their negotiations with Man City then Diabete may be forced to leave on either a temporary or permanent deal to enhance his career prospects.
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