Leicester City are locked in a face-off with West Ham United over Manchester City’s 21-year-old forward, Patrick Roberts. Claude Puel is already putting up with a disgruntled Riyad Mahrez and finding a good replacement for him might be the first priority for the Frenchman at the present moment. Roberts is priced at £15m and the Foxes will be well poised to rival interests from West Ham after selling off Mahrez on an astronomical fee.
Roberts is currently spending another season out on loan to Celtic after spending the past 18 months with the Scottish Premiership side. He has racked up 18 goals in 72 total appearances along with a further 24-assist tally. He is currently undergoing a stint on the sidelines with injury but featured heavily in the early stages of the season under Brendan Rodgers.
He is best suited in the shadow striker role but can play on the wide areas as well. An agile presence standing at 5 feet 7 inches tall, Roberts can weave his way through tight spaces to create chances for his teammates in the final third. The Kingston-born player has been capped at the youth levels of the England national team all around 47 times.
Claude Puel has transformed Leicester’s season completely after being appointed as the manager. The Foxes have improved upon their 12th place last season finish and is currently staged at the 7th spot of the points table. Both Islam Slimani and Ahmed Musa has been sent out on loan to Newcastle United and CSKA Moscow. Shinji Okazaki and Demarai Gray are fielded in the position behind Jamie Vardy and Puel needs a second option who can take over the void which might be left behind by Mahrez’s possible departure in the near future.
The 26-year-old’s transfer move to Manchester City fell through in the dying minutes of the January transfer deadline day after Leicester charged an exorbitant amount for his services. This did not sit well with Mahrez who reportedly missed a number of training sessions to address his frustration. He has given his best to the fans at King Power Stadium and feels that he is deserved of a call-up to the big times.
Mahrez operates from the right wing and has been a key figure in the Foxes lineup alongside players like Jamie Vardy, Robert Huth and Kasper Schmeichel. Finding his replacement will have to be handled carefully and Roberts is a prime candidate to do so. At 21 he still has his years ahead of him to prove his talent on the biggest stage and a possible move to a club like Leicester City might help him become one of the better players in the near future.
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