Leicester City achieved the biggest piece of silverware in English football with all the odds against them last season but it will be a tough ask from them to sustain that success. The Foxes already lost against last season’s FA Cup winners Manchester United in the traditional curtain-raiser to the English season, the FA Community Shield. The start the Premier League holders had to their campaign was far from what Ranieri would have wanted. Plenty of football pundits and fans have already started writing Leicester off this term but the latest player linked with the Foxes can turn the whole scenario around.
The Guardian are reporting that Leicester City have made a €27m (£23.2m) offer for the Santos forward Gabriel Barbosa. ‘Gabigol’, the name Barbosa is fondly called, is one of the hottest prospects in world football right now and there is no shortage of suitors for him. Leicester City beating the so-called elite clubs of Europe for the Brazilian wonderkid’s signature would be a massive statement of intent from the Foxes.
Claudio Ranieri has been quite active throughout the summer adding quality and depth to the squad. It has been evident that Ranieri is keen to build on the success his side achieved last campaign as he has gone for deals those would be fruitful in the long run. Signing Bartosz Kapustka, one of the biggest talents in world football right now proves the intent of the Foxes but if the Foxes can make the deal happen for Gabigol, it will be a much bigger statement from them.
Gabigol got his football education from the famed academy of Santos which has produced players like Pelé, Robinho, Diego Ribas, Ganso, Neymar in the past. Barbosa is the new kid on the block and has been often compared to his compatriot Neymar. Although, the ‘next Neymar’ resembles Luis Suarez more than Neymar in terms of style of play.
Just aged 19, Gabigol already boasts plenty of first-team football for Santos over the years since making his debut at the age of 16. The Brazilian looks much ahead of his age in terms of the composure and maturity he possesses. Unlike most other forwards, Gabigol is not just a prolific finisher but someone who can create as well. With his flamboyance, dribbling skills, amazing technique, vision and all-round ability, Gabigol has everything to become one of the best in the world in near future.
Leicester City had their success in a traditional 4-4-2 formation last season and it’s unlikely that Ranieri will make any kind of alteration to his successful formula. Gabigol is just the perfect fit in Leicester’s tactics where he can complement Jamie Vardy much better than Ulloa and Okazaki could last season. Barbosa would be a signing a real intent from the Foxes, someone who can help the Foxes hang on to their success last term and build on it in the coming years.