How fast time changes! At this time last season, Leicester City were fighting for the title and after one year, they are fighting for their lives to save their Premier League status. They weren’t expected to hold on to their Premier League trophy but a relegation scrap wasn’t expected either! The Foxes splashed plenty of cash during the summer transfer window but nothing seems to be working for them this season.
We expect Ranieri to use the winter transfer window in order to reinforce his squad and the department which will be at the top of his wishlist will be defence. Robert Huth and Wes Morgan had a rock-solid presence at the back last season but the Foxes’ defence has been breached time and time again this campaign. TalkSPORT claim that the Foxes are lining up a £8.5m bid for Sassuolo defender Francesco Acerbi in January.
Acerbi is an experienced Serie A campaigner and has more than 170 appearances in the top tier of Italian football to his name. So, it is quite evident that Leicester City will get a wealth of experience in return for the £8.5m they pay.
The money the Italian side are likely to command is nothing in comparison to how the market is nowadays. The Italian stopper has delivered his best performances this season for Sassuolo, having scored thrice from 18 Serie A games this season.
Acerbi appeared for Pavia, Reggina, Genoa, Chievo Verona, Genoa, in a loan spell at AC Milan and then Sassuolo. A defender of his experience will be a welcome addition at the King Power Stadium. Well, getting a defender from Italy is always a safe bet as that is what they can do naturally. With both Morgan and Huth failing to replicate last season’s form, Leicester are in dire need of more options and Acerbi could be much beyond that.
Thanks to his big frame of 6 ft 3 1⁄2 in, the Italian boasts superiority in the air which is visible from his 2.3 aerial duels won every game. He is known for his excellent reading of the game and no nonsense defending.
Ranieri does not encourage his defenders to play out of defence which is why the Italian’s safety first kind of game is a perfect fit for the Premier League holders.
Acerbi has won 3.8 interceptions every game this season while making 5.9 clearances as well. He seems to be the missing link in the Leicester defence. A £8.5m bid for the Italian makes perfect sense for the Foxes.