Leicester City supporters in the Transfer Tavern are relishing the remainder of the summer transfer window, what with their team eyeing up reinforcements that can take them to the next level next season.
Claude Puel’s men finished ninth in the Premier League this term with 47 points from their 38 matches, although their form in the second half of the campaign was of concern to many of our resident Foxes supporters, several of whom grew increasingly frustrated with the Frenchman and his style of play. However, a victory over Arsenal and decent performance at Tottenham may have bought Puel some time, although it’s clear that signings are needed if they are to challenge for the European spots next season.
Yet they could lose one of their most prized assets during the summer window, with recent reports suggesting that Manchester City are closing in on the addition of winger Riyad Mahrez, this all after failing with a move back in January.
But with the Algeria international set to leave the King Power Stadium, the Foxes must seek a replacement, and they could do a lot worse than trying to lure Stoke City’s £16.2 million-rated ace Xherdan Shaqiri (as per Transfermarkt) to the club.
Ultimately, despite being part of a Potters side that lost their Premier League status this season, the Switzerland international enjoyed his best campaign to date with the Staffordshire-based outfit, netting eight goals and laying on seven assists in 36 appearances for Paul Lambert’s men.
Arguably, alongside goalkeeper Jack Butland, Stoke would have been relegated a lot sooner were it not for Shaqiri’s efforts, but it’s not just the goals and assists which will undoubtedly help Leicester, it’s the fact that the 26-year-old is able to conjure something up out of nothing.
Like Mahrez, Shaqiri is able to go through matches having done very little indeed, but then produce a moment of brilliance, either in open play or from a set play, to score or create a big goal-scoring chance.
Thus, not only would Leicester be losing the goals and assists if Mahrez leaves, but they’d be losing that match-winning quality as well – Shaqiri’s arrival would replenish both aspects.
Leicester fans themselves will know first-hand of the Swiss star’s ability given his fine goal in the 1-1 draw at the King Power Stadium back in February, and with Stoke relegated as well this term, their chances of a deal are likely to be strong, especially with Shaqiri almost certainly going to leave the bet365 Stadium.
And with Mahrez seemingly on his way out, the Foxes must seek to replace him with 26-year-old Shaqiri to minimise the impact of the Algerian’s likely departure.
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