Leicester City had a busy summer with five incomings and six outgoings but another deal could well have happened.
According to reports, Caglar Soyuncu, 23, was also subject to much interest this summer, however, the Foxes decided to keep him around and give him the chance of filling Harry Maguire’s shoes.
Soyuncu’s agent Mustafa Dogru revealed to Turkish radio station Radyospor – relayed by Ajansspor (via Sport Witness) – that a host of teams from all around Europe were after the signature of his Turkish client.
He said: “Caglar missed the pre-season last year and when he arrived, Leicester had Harry Maguire. Caglar played 8 games last season and did very well. He deserved to play more but the manager wanted to stick with the old backline when he came in.
Considering Leicester paid a handsome fee of £20m for Soyuncu (Turkish Football) last summer, he has almost gone under the radar at the King Power after making just six league appearances last season, and you could have seen him leaving if it wasn’t for Maguire’s departure.
However, with just two games played this season, £20m seems smart business from Leicester, who were able to source a Maguire replacement a year before they cashed in on him, in turn saving themselves a lot of money. Indeed, he leads the way in terms of clearances per game this season (4.5 according to WhoScored) and was praised by Gerry Taggart for his performance against Chelsea.
Even though Leicester allegedly attempted to go after Nathan Ake and James Tarkowski, they quickly pulled out of the race after they were quoted £75m and £40m respectively, according to The Sun. This suggests that they were happy to play Soyuncu, but still would’ve liked another defender in their ranks.
So far, the decision not to over-invest in a replacement this summer has worked out very well.
In fact, manager Brendan Rodgers even came out and praised Soyuncu after Sunday’s draw with Chelsea, complementing his ability to replace Maguire.
“When you work closely with him (Soyuncu), you see his quality. He had big boots to fill and he’s been very good in both games,” Rodgers told reporters ahead of Saturday’s trip to Sheffield United (via EuroSport).
“For a modern-day centre-back, he’s exactly what you want.”
Before the start of the season, it was hard to tell whether Leicester would regret not signing another centre-back – and it still is – but the opening two games for Soyuncu have been a huge success.
Indeed, given his form, Leicester will be glad they didn’t offload the defender considering he is only 23 and showing a lot of promise. In two, maybe three years time they could have another centre-back worth big money if he carries on progressing and follows the path that Maguire took.
How big a role will he play this season? Join the discussion by commenting below…