Leicester City’s transfer policy this summer was simple: build a bigger squad, that is strong enough to ensure that they stay in the Premier League. The Foxes have been willing to spend money on a combination of experience, youth and talent across different areas of the squad. It’s always a tough ask for newly promoted clubs to be successful in the Premier League, but will these summer signings give Leicester’s fans the confidence that the club will manage to avoid the drop?
The Foxes record signing is already starting to pay back a proportion of his transfer fee after notching 2 goals in his first 3 games for Leicester City. The 28-year-old target man has been scoring consistently for the last five or six seasons, and since he’s already used to the English game after time spent playing for Brighton, Leonardo Ulloa is a very safe bet from Nigel Pearson. Ulloa looks a constant threat when lurking in the area in search of a pass or cross. He is also deceptively quick for his build, and isn’t often caught if he manages to break away from the defence. The Argentine will surely prove to be a more than competent focal point to the Premier League side’s attack.
The English centre-half brought in on a one-year contract is a solid piece of business. Another Brighton escapee joined up with Ulloa at the King Power Stadium after his contract expired. Nigel Pearson will know exactly what he’s getting with Upson at the club. His experience will be one of his most valuable possessions this season, after having 3 solid seasons in the premier league with West Ham and Stoke.
The ex-QPR full-back is a reasonable addition to the City defence. Another signing with top-flight experience, the ex-Newcastle fits the mould that Nigel Pearson has been looking for. Also a safe bet, Simpson will offer competition and quality to the Leicester squad. Although there probably are better players out there, you can clearly see the logic in bringing the 27-year-old to the King Power Stadium.
At just 24 years of age, Marc Albrighton still has a future in the Premier League after being released by Aston Villa this summer. The pacey winger is brilliant at finding the space to whip crosses into the box, which is perfect for Ulloa, since that’s precisely what he feeds off. Albrighton has made 98 appearances in the Premier League, which continues with Pearson’s philosophy of signing experience. The Englishman could be used as an impact sub or a first-team regular as the season progresses, either way he will be a useful player for the Foxes.
Barmby, Lawrence and Powell
The Manchester United trio will be playing together for Leicester City this coming season. Nick Powell is on loan, whereas Jack Barmby(son of Nick Barmby) and Tom Lawrence are on permanent deals. It is thought that a total of £1m has been spent bringing these young talents in. Barmby, Lawrence and Powell all performed well last season at the various clubs(Hartlepool, Yeovil and Wigan) they were loaned out to last season. It will be interesting to see how much game time these players see this season, as I imagine Pearson is looking to build for the future with these signings. Barmby, Lawrence and Powell join a long line of United players to play for the Blue Army, including Ritchie De Laet.
Although signed on free transfer, I’m sure the weekly wage the Argentine requires is one of the largest in the squad, if not the largest. However with 315 appearances for Internazionale and 52 Caps for Argentina, the 34-year-old has earned it. Esteban Cambiasso has mastered the holding midfield role, which has seen him play a key part in the various honours he has won, which include:1 La Liga title, are due to age and whether he still has the stamina to play a full ninety in the demanding defensive midfield position . A player who offers as much off the pitch as he does on, I believe Cambiasso is a magnificent capture for the club.
Leicester have fought well so far this season managing two draws against Arsenal and Everton. Despite the difficult fixture list the squad have coped well. Smart signings have lead me to believe that the experience brought in to the side will see Leicester stay in the Premier League. It won’t be easy but they should have just enough to see them through the season.
Overall Grade: B
How would you grade Nigel Pearson’s additions to his Leicester City squad this summer? Let us know in the comments or on twitter @TBRFootball .