Monday, August 15, 2022

Leiceseter City Linked With Bundesliga Midfield Dynamo: A Tad Too Ambitious?

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Snehanjan Banerjee
Snehanjan used to a former columnist at The 4th Official. Fan of KK, Cricket and Liverpool (in no particular order).

Leicester City’s form in the league last season and this season has been chalk and cheese. They did win the Premier League title last campaign defying all the odds but are struggling this season and cannot even find themselves in the top half after 10 game weeks.

The biggest reason behind their gargantuan dip in performance is a Kanté-sized void in the middle of the park. The Foxes have struggled to cope up with the mega-money departure of their midfield dynamo N’Golo Kanté and his absence is evident in the engine room.

Leicester City did sign a direct replacement for N’Golo Kanté in the summer in Nampalys Mendy from Nice but the Frenchman has struggled with injuries from the start of the season, putting the Foxes in trouble. Now, The Mirror claims that the Foxes are in hot pursuit of Red Bull Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita who in many ways, is similar in style to Kanté.

Keita is a dynamic midfielder who now plays for Bundesliga side Red Bull Leipzig having switched from another Red Bull backed club Salzburg this summer. The Guinea international has made a real impact at Red Bull Arena Leipzig in Germany being in the heart of the ambitious club’s amazing start to the season. After nine games, they are now placed second on the table with 21 points, just two behind Bayern Munchen.

LEIPZIG, GERMANY - OCTOBER 23: Naby Deco Keita of Leipzig jubilates after scoring the first goal during the Bundesliga match between RB Leipzig and SV Werder Bremen at Red Bull Arena on October 23, 2016 in Leipzig, Germany. (Photo by Matthias Kern/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Keita has made eight appearances in all competitions for Leipzig so far this season and found the back of the net three times. He has pretty similar to Kante in terms of his physique. A frame of 5 ft 7 12 in might seem a bit small for a defensive midfielder but the 21-year-old uses it in his favour.

His low centre of gravity and resultant balance is what make him a gifted player. The Guinea international has made as many as 2.6 tackles and 2.1 interceptions on average every game this season which is an excellent figure. The young midfielder is also an excellent passer which is evident from his passing accuracy of 81.7% this season and 1 key pass every game. On the top of that, he has an eye for goals from midfield, something Kante hardly had.

However, Leicester City should rather forget about Keita as Leipzig are on a high at the moment. Looking at the funds they have at their disposal, they will only get better and better and Keita is a key player at the club. Why would he join Leicester City? They will not be Premier League holders next season and there is a good chance that they might not have Europa League football too. The 21-year-old seems an unrealistic target for the Foxes considering the club he plays for at the moment.

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