Leicester City supporters in the Transfer Tavern are very much looking forward to the summer transfer window, as their side seek the additions that could see them challenge for the European spots next season.
Claude Puel’s men finished ninth in the top-flight this time round and will certainly be looking up as opposed to down next term, although their sluggish end to the campaign will be of concern to our resident Foxes supporters, many of whom were growing increasingly frustrated with manager Puel and his style of play. However, with a full pre-season and transfer market, the Frenchman now has the chance to mould the squad to his preferences, which Leicester fans will hope can propel them into European contention next time round.
Yet, they are unlikely to be overly thrilled by recent reports linking striker Jamie Vardy with a move to Atletico Madrid, as while the Midlands outfit should be looking up next term, they would no doubt be looking over their shoulder were they to sanction the £16.2 million-rated (as per Transfermarkt) ace’s departure this summer.
Ultimately, the England international has once again proven his worth to the Foxes this term with another impressive campaign in front of goal, bagging 23 goals in 42 appearances in all competitions, 20 goals of which coming in the Premier League.
That means that the 31-year-old has now scored 57 goals in his last three top-flight campaigns to underline his status as one of the most prolific and influential attackers in the division, and one that Leicester quite simply have to keep over the summer.
Not only must they retain his services to push on next time round, but were they to indeed let him leave to Atletico, it would plunge the club into relegation danger, as take Vardy’s goals and overall contributions out of the side, and there is very little left.
Summer signing Kelechi Iheanacho struggled for much of his debut campaign at the club, while Shinji Okazaki simply isn’t going to get the goals required, even if his all round play does add a great deal to Puel’s side – simply, it’s difficult to see anyone replicating Vardy’s 20 goals next term were to leave.
And take those out of the side, and Leicester would be in a significantly inferior position to where they are now, which is ninth place and 14 points clear of the bottom three.
Yes, that is still a sizable gap, but Vardy’s efforts have arguably earned them several victories over the course of the campaign, without which they would have been in a battle against the drop.
Clearly, selling Vardy is a non-starter.
Yes, at 31 years of age, he probably is replaceable, but he epitomises everything about what Leicester are and have been as a team in the last few years, be it winning the league or reaching the last eight of the Champions League.
Take him out of the side this summer, and the Foxes would likely be battling relegation next time round.
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