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Grading Leicester City’s Transfer Activity

The Boot Room

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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?

Leonardo Ulloa-£8,000,000

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.

Grade: A

Matthew Upson-Free

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.

Grade: B

Danny Simpson-£2,000,000

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.

Grade: C

Marc Albrighton-Free

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.

Grade: B

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.

Grade: B

Esteban Cambiasso-Free

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.

Grade: A

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 .

 

 

West Ham United

Signing Yaya Toure is not enough to gain support for West Ham board

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Photo: Getty Images.

West Ham United are believed to be close to appointing former Premier League winning coach Manuel Pellegrini as their new manager, and reports indicate that it could lead to a coup signing in his former player Yaya Toure.

The Telegraph make the claims as they say that previous talks between the Hammers and the free agent broke down, but the appointment of the Chilean would smooth matters and may make a deal more feasible.

In truth, the signing may not actually impress West Ham fans all that much. They have grown used to the signing of players who were dominating the game five years ago and are now past their best. The signings of Joe Hart, Pablo Zabaleta and Patrice Evra over the past year have shown as much with mixed results.

(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

The board are desperately seeking a way to get fans back onside as discontent grows and fans accuse them of not spending sufficiently to back their team and the signing of such a high profile player of immense quality may satisfy those wishes.

That may be the plan, but Yaya Toure made only two Premier League starts in 2017/18 and such a record bares terrifying resemblances to the likes of Andy Carroll, commanding a high wage whilst spending more time in the stands watching on than actually making an impact.

Toure could provide a spark and excitement, there’s no denying that he would be an invigorating addition, but he is not the long-term solution that the club require as fans cry out for players with potential and already at their best. His signing would be a mere distraction.

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Liverpool

Liverpool target Besiktas’ Anderson Talisca would add superb attacking depth

The Brazilian has recorded 28 goal contributions in Turkey this season.

Max Cohen

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Anderson Talisca
Photo: Getty Images

After Besiktas’ 5-1 home win over Sivasspor on Saturday, manager Senol Gunes strongly hinted that star attacker Anderson Talisca would be joining Liverpool this summer.

The possible signing of the Brazilian midfielder would be a superb acquisition for Liverpool, adding depth and quality to the club’s star-studded attack.

According to FourFourTwo, the Besiktas manager confirmed Talisca would be leaving the Turkish club for the Premier League after two years on loan from Benfica.

And Gunes dropped a massive hint that put Liverpool as the possible frontrunners in attaining his signature ahead of Manchester United.

“He might be rivals with Cenk Tosun,” Gunes replied when asked about Talisca’s English destination.

Of course, former Besiktas striker Cenk Tosun plays for Everton– leading many to jump to the conclusion that Talisca is headed to Anfield instead of Old Trafford.

(Photo by Ozan Kose/Getty Images)

The signing would represent a strong statement of intent from the Reds, as Talisca has enjoyed a stunning two seasons at Besiktas and is a burgeoning attacking talent.

In 47 appearances this season, the 24-year-old was involved in an impressive 28 goals, scoring 20 and assisting eight.

And the Brazilian’s past form shows this fantastic season is not a one-off. In 2016/17, Talisca bagged 17 goals and six assists, despite only featuring 33 times in all competitions.

While some might argue that the Turkish Super Lig has a poorer defensive standard than the Premier League, Talisca has proven his worth in European competition as well. In his time at Besiktas, he has notched five Champions League goals, as well as two goals and four assists in the Europa League.

The Brazilian youth international would add impressive offensive depth for Liverpool, as the Reds look to seriously challenge for the Premier League next season.

The purchase of the prolific attacking midfielder would be an ideal first step in assembling a squad that could bring Anfield its first league trophy in over two decades.

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Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham have already identified Eric Dier’s £25 million replacement in Wilmar Barrios

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Photo: Getty Images.

Losing first team regulars may not be a complete surprise to Tottenham and Mauricio Pochettino, and that may why be reports are indicating that the coach has already lined up an alternative to Eric Dier and Victor Wanyama should either move on this summer.

The Sun say that there is still interest in Dier, who will be at the World Cup with England, whilst Wanyama’s struggles with injury may mean that Pochettino looks elsewhere for the role of midfield enforcer.

They believe the target to be Boca Juniors’ 24-year-old holding midfielder Wilmar Barrios, a Colombian international who plays alongside Spurs’ Davinson Sanchez at international level.

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The youngster has become a key man in the Boca Juniors side but, perhaps unusually, has not caught the attention of many in Europe. Barrios has, though, developed a reputation as one of the best players in South America, particularly in his position, as he has become a linchpin protecting his back four.

That is protected in his very impressive stats, which show that he makes on average three tackles per game and 2.8 interceptions per match, compared to the 1.8 tackles and 1.3 interceptions for Dier playing in a very similar role.

Barrios’ intelligent reading of the game has drawn comparisons to Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro, with both men guilt of diving into tackles on occasion despite all of their many strengths.

He may be raw, with no experience of playing in Europe, but at £25 million he could prove to be a bargain and Mauricio Pochettino’s return home to go on a shopping spree could provide a long-term solution to the holding midfield role which seems as uncertain as ever after the 2017/18 season.

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