Leicester City will be starting off this season as Premier League champions. The Foxes are the talk of the town after they dismantled all notions and presumptions last season to win the league title.
While Leicester will be revelling in their humongous achievement, with the new season upon us, the club will be aware of the challenges awaiting them.
With Champions League and Premier League along with the cup competitions to contend with, it was vital that Leicester add quality to their side while keeping their squad intact.
But Leicester seem to be having a mixed transfer window in this regard. While they managed to keep Jamie Vardy away from the clutches of Arsene Wenger, they don’t seem to be as lucky with Kante and Mahrez. With Kante sealing a move to Chelsea, fresh reports have emerged of Arsenal being interested in €50m rated Riyad Mahrez. While Ranieri is adamant Leicester will convince Mahrez to stay, it will be extremely difficult if Arsenal are determined to land their target.
With one of their most impressive players looking at the exit door, here are three alternatives Leicester should look to sign in case Mahrez leaves for Emirates.
ANDRIY YARMOLENKO (26)
Yarmolenko has been a stand-out player for Dynamo Kyiv since 2008 and has played a massive 322 games for them. He is predominantly a left-footer and plays on the right side of the attacking line. He likes to cut inside and his direct approach has helped him score 126 goals and he has assisted a further 84. At 26 years of age, he is considered to be at the peak of his playing days and after such a long time at Dynamo he will certainly relish a new challenge. He has been strongly linked with Liverpool after his agent dropped a couple of teasing hints linking him with the Anfield club. But Leicester will be a good option for him as they will provide Champions league and his experience will benefit the shock Premier League winners.
ANDRE AYEW (26)
The Ghanaian signed for Swansea on a free transfer in the summer of 2015 and had an impressive debut season at the Welsh club where he scored 12 goals and assisted a further 5 in 35 appearances. His versatility enabled him to play all across the attacking line and he was adept in each of those positions. Though it will be difficult to replace the productivity of Mahrez, his experience in the Premier League will come in handy. He brings in loads of pace along with superb technical ability.
He was one of the catalysts behind Marseille’s temporary run to the top of France with 10 goals and 3 assists in Ligue 1 before joining Swansea. With a rumoured price tag of around £15m, the fee will not prove to a hindrance for the Premier League champions.
SOFIANE BOUFAL (22)
Christened as the next ‘Eden Hazard’, this fleet-footed attacking player is capable of playing across the front-line. He has a huge repertoire of strengths and is known for his dribbling ability and shooting from distance. He is a good header of the ball, which will hold him in good stead in the Premier League. He is also known for his crossing and takes majority of the set-pieces for Lille. He has scored 15 goals and provided 10 assists for them and the idea of playing in England would certainly entice the player.