Leicester City supporters in the Transfer Tavern are very much looking forward to the rest of the summer transfer window, what with their side seeking the reinforcements that can take them up another level in the Premier League next season.
Claude Puel’s men secured a ninth place finish in the English top-flight this time round but their form in 2018 was far from impressive, with the Foxes managing just five victories from their 18 league matches. And that disappointing run somewhat intensified the pressure on manager Puel, although with a pre-season and full summer window, many of our resident Leicester fans are hoping he can mould a squad he wants to take the club forward again next season.
As such, there are many expectant Foxes supporters in the Tavern at present, several of whom have been discussing the impending departure of influential ace Riyad Mahrez, who looks set to join Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.
But for a fee believed to be around £60 million, as well as in return for £6.75 million-rated star Patrick Roberts (as per Transfermarkt), it’s a deal which represents great business by the Midlands outfit.
Ultimately, there is no doubting how integral Mahrez has been to Leicester’s success in the last few seasons, not least in netting 17 goals and laying on ten assists to help the Foxes to the Premier League title back in 2016.
And with 12 goals and 11 assists this time round, the 27-year-old continues to produce the goods, and as such has continued to attract the interest, with City failing with a move for the Algeria international back in January.
However, no matter how hard Leicester have tried, it was only a matter of time before Mahrez left the club for bigger and better things, and when a team like City heading in the right direction under Guardiola come calling, it’s difficult for the club to stand in his way.
But to get £60 million for his services – let alone a mightily impressive youngster in Roberts – represents fine business for a player who, at the age of 27, may not have a great deal of time left at his peak.
Add in the supremely talented Roberts, who at the tender age of 21 already has over 100 senior appearances to his name alongside many domestic honours, and Leicester have done very well out of the deal.
The former England Under-20 international has spent the last two seasons north of the border at Celtic, and while this term was disrupted by injuries, he played a key part in their treble-winning effort the campaign before with 11 goals and 19 assists for Brendan Rodgers’ men.
Thus, it’s clear that the forward has huge potential in the game and is destined for big things, which is exactly why Leicester should be satisfied with the deal they look set to get – not only could Roberts do a job in the present, but he’s also one for the future.
So not only do they have a long-term replacement for Mahrez, but they also have £60 million in the bank to invest in other areas of the squad in need of strengthening, the defence in particular.
As such, while selling Mahrez is not something Leicester fans hoped would happen this summer, it was becoming increasingly inevitable, so for their side to get Roberts and £60 million out of the deal represents very good business indeed by the Midlands club.
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