Leicester City supporters in the Transfer Tavern are very much looking forward to the rest of the summer transfer window, what with their team eyeing up the reinforcements that could take them to the next level next season.
Claude Puel’s men secured a ninth place finish in the Premier League this time round but their form in 2018 was far from impressive, with the Foxes managing to win just five of their 18 league games since the turn of the year. And with the pressure somewhat building on manager Puel following a disappointing run of form, the Frenchman knows that he has to get things rights during the close season to win over the Leicester faithful, and indeed take the side forward and into European contention next time round.
And one man the Midlands outfit have been linked with in recent times is Lazio winger Felipe Anderson, whose addition this summer would without doubt give Puel the perfect replacement for Manchester City-bound Riyad Mahrez.
Ultimately, Algeria international Mahrez has played a significant part in Leicester’s success in the last few years, not least the 17 goals and ten assists he contributed back in 2015/16 to inspire the club to the most unlikely of Premier League title successes.
And with 12 goals and 11 assists this time round, it’s clear that the 27-year-old remains a hugely influential and integral member of the squad at the King Power Stadium, which is why his seemingly imminent departure to the Etihad Stadium is going to leave a huge hole in Puel’s attacking ranks.
Yet it’s a hole which could be somewhat filled by the highly-rated Anderson, who has enjoyed a fine campaign himself this term at Italian giants Lazio.
The 25-year-old, valued at £22.5 million by Transfermarkt, scored eight goals and laid on ten assists for the Serie A side in all competitions this season, which are particularly impressive figures given he missed the first four months of the campaign through injury.
But with goals as a right midfielder, right winger, number ten, and indeed a centre forward over the course of the season, it’s clear that the Brazil international brings genuine quality to the Lazio attacking ranks, and as such would do exactly the same were he to move to Puel’s Leicester.
And with pace to burn and a desire to get at defenders and make life uncomfortable for them, Anderson would usurp the role vacated by Mahrez as Leicester’s go-to man, the one they look towards to make something happen out of very little.
Add in proven ability in helping out defensively, and the 25-year-old would be a huge asset to Puel next season, as the Frenchman seeks to build and mould a Leicester squad capable of challenging for the European places.
So while Mahrez’s departure will certainly be a blow to the 2016 league champions, replacing him with Lazio’s Anderson would no doubt minimise the impact of the Algerian’s departure – in fact, he’d be the ideal replacement for the City-bound attacker.
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