Leicester City supporters in the Transfer Tavern are eagerly anticipating the 2018/19 Premier League season, what with their team seeking to build upon their solid ninth place finish in the top-flight last time round.
Claude Puel’s men made a sluggish start to the campaign and were very much in a relegation battle prior to the Frenchman’s arrival, before the former Southampton boss led them away from trouble to the relative safety of mid-table. However, their form in 2018 was something of a concern to our resident Foxes supporters, with it clear that reinforcements are needed over the summer to move up to the next level this term.
And one man who looks set to join the Midlands outfit is Norwich City midfielder James Maddison, with recent reports suggesting that a deal for the 21-year-old is close to completion.
And with Jonny Evans and Roberto Pereira already through the door, Puel has certainly been busy this summer, and must now seek to complete his business by reuniting with £4.5 million-rated winger Hatem Ben Arfa (as per Transfermarkt).
Ultimately, it is looking increasingly inevitable that Riyad Mahrez will join Manchester City this summer, with reports over the last few weeks suggesting that a deal looks set to take place during the close season.
Thus, the Foxes will lose an enormous amount of creativity and flair from their attacking ranks, not to mention the 13 goals and 13 assists he contributed last term in their run to ninth place in the Premier League.
And while the arrival of England Under-21 star Maddison, tipped by many in the Tavern for a very bright future, will go some way to minimising the detrimental impact of Mahrez’s departure, the Foxes would significantly be losing a player that can make things happen out of very little, and thus produce the odd moment of brilliance – Ben Arfa could be the answer.
Yes, the former Newcastle United winger has endured a testing time at French giants Paris Saint-Germain in recent times, but there is little doubting what quality he could bring to the Leicester forward ranks given his previous spell at St James’ Park, and indeed the time he spent under Puel at Lille.
And that spell in particular, in which the France international scored 18 goals and laid on seven assists in just one season at the Ligue 1 side, suggests that Puel knows exactly how to get the best out of the 31-year-old – something plenty of other coaches have failed to do during his career.
Ben Arfa has not performed as consistently as he did for Puel at any other club in his career to date, and that must be of interest to Leicester fans as, although the ex-Hull City man is now 31, he still retains genuine ability in the final third of the pitch, and is capable of those moments of magic in the same way Mahrez is.
As such, with the hugely exciting Maddison on his way to the King Power Stadium, Puel must seek to complete his business by reuniting with Ben Arfa at the Midlands club.
Leicester fans… what do you think? Let us know!
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