Every fairy tale comes to an end eventually, and so did Leicester City’s. Last season, they conquered what looked like impossible at the onset; winning the Premier League title by outclassing every other Premier League side and outmuscling the financial influences of the top sides by backing what they had at their disposal. Everyone expected them to falter at some point of the season but that didn’t happen.
They have, however, failed to carry on their form of last season to the current campaign and in a season which was supposed to be their title defending campaign, they are clambering helplessly in the relegation fistfight. Yes, the league champions have miles to cover to ensure their survival in the top flight.
Placed fifteenth in the league table, Claudio Ranieri must have understood by now that ramifications are of paramount importance at the moment, particularly with respect to their defence.
In 20 league games, they have already conceded 31 goals, just 5 short of what they conceded in 38 league games last season. Though it looks almost certain that they have squandered their title defence, ensuring survival is still a mighty task. The January transfer window is their last chance of bringing the necessary mettle into their side and here are three defenders who must be considered by Ranieri.
- José Fonte
Southampton’s skipper José Fonte has handed over a formal transfer request to end his association with the club in search of new endeavours. The 33-year-old Portuguese international is unarguably one of the best defenders in England, which is why a handful of clubs are queuing up to acquire his services. A formidable leader and a resolute defender, Fonte has bundles of top flight experience and it would be a safe bet from Leicester City to fork out the requisite cash to bring him to the King Power Stadium.
- Mamadou Sakho
Liverpool outcast Mamadou Sakho is what Leicester City’s defence needs. Sakho’s off-field and occasional on-field antics have made him an outcast and underappreciated this season by Jürgen Klopp. The Frenchman has not been employed even in a single game and thus, he is assessing his options. Should Ranieri make a move for Sakho, he will strike gold, for Sakho is still a very good defender in the Premier League.
- Francesco Acerbi
Reports had surfaced earlier this month that Ranieri is interested in signing proven central defender Francesco Acerbi from Serie A side Sassuolo to meet the defensive needs of the side. The 28-year-old Italian has plenty of experience under his belt, courtesy his experience of playing a large number of clubs in his career.
In order to look beyond the centre-back pairing of Wes Morgan and Robert Huth which has failed this season, the Foxes have Acerbi under their radar to rope him into their side in the ongoing transfer window.