Leicester City supporters have been drowning their sorrows in the Transfer Tavern this week after seeing their side go down 5-0 at relegation-threatened Crystal Palace on Saturday to increase the pressure on Claude Puel.
The Foxes went into their encounter with the London outfit having failed to win any of their preceding three league matches, a run which all but ended their hopes of displacing Burnley in seventh place, and thus earning European football. And their Europa League hopes are now over for another season as goals from Wilfried Zaha, James McArthur, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Patrick van Aanholt, and Christian Benteke sealed a routine win for Roy Hodgson’s Eagles, thus leaving Leicester ten points behind the Clarets with just nine left to play for.
As such, there have been many angry Leicester fans in the Tavern in recent times, several of whom are beginning to turn on manager Puel given his side have won just four times in 2018, just two of which coming at the King Power Stadium.
In the meantime though, there has been much for our resident Foxes supporters to get their teeth into, not least recent reports suggesting that defender Christian Fuchs will leave the club at the end of his contract in 2019.
But with Fuchs off in little over 12 months’ time, attentions must be turning towards finding a replacement for the left back, with £18 million-rated Ryan Bertrand (as per Transfermarkt) the man the Foxes should turn to.
Ultimately, Fuchs has been a fantastic servant to the Midlands club since his move there back in 2015, producing an extremely high-level of consistency to help the Foxes win the Premier League title back in 2016.
And while the 32-year-old hasn’t quite been as good since then, there are just as many question marks surrounding the adeptness of fellow left back Ben Chilwell, who has often got the nod by Puel in the last few months even if he hasn’t always convinced.
As such, Fuchs’ departure in 2019 gives the Leicester chief the chance to take time and identify a much-needed replacement for the Austria international, with Bertrand undoubtedly the man.
The 28-year-old may not have been at his best this season in a poor Southampton team, but the former Chelsea man has excelled in the past few years at St Mary’s, with his consistently impressive efforts propelling him to the top of England’s left back pecking order.
Be it bombing up and down the left flank to get into good advanced positions, or defending solidly and efficiently in his own third of the pitch, the Englishman has proven his credentials in both aspects of being a left back, while he is also a very good wing back were Puel to consider a change in the system.
And were Southampton to indeed get relegated this season, Bertrand would surely seek to leave in a bid to continue his career at both club and international level, and Leicester could give him that opportunity as they close in on the post-Fuchs era.
Thus, with Fuchs off in the summer of 2019, they should seek to lure Bertrand away from the South Coast during this close season, as he would be a more-than-ideal replacement for the Austrian in both the short and indeed the long term.
Leicester fans… what do you think? Let us know!Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!