Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Leicester City Midfielder Wants Shock Exit: Three Players Who Can Ably Replace Him

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Subhayan Dutta
Subhayan used to be the Featured Columnist at The 4th Official. Completely immersed in football and almost all other sports on planet.

Leicester City are set to incur a huge blow as last season’s star recruit Nampalys Mendy has reportedly expressed his ‘obsession’ to join Ligue 1 side Girondins Bordeaux this summer. The 25-year-old was brought in by Foxes’ former manager Claudio Ranieri with an eye to replace the terrific N’Golo Kante.

However, the French international saw his first season wasted by an ankle injury that limited his game time to just nine appearances in all competitions. He managed just four Premier League games under his belt and hasn’t quite settled in the country it seems.

According to his interview given to French news outlet L’Equipe, he is set to leave Leicester City. He said, “I heard about the interest of Nantes but neither me nor my adviser have been contacted… Anyway, since my advisor talked to me about the possibility of joining Bordeaux, I’m set on it… I have the hope of rallying the Girondins (Bordeaux) fairly quickly. It’s even an obsession.”

His early failed ankle injury forced him to undergo yet another on in March, which further delayed his return. Although he is not 100 percent fit, he is hoping to return soon. Mendy was brought in from Ligue 1 side OGC Nice for just £13 million last summer and Craig Shakespeare doesn’t expect to squeeze out much of a profit following his underwhelming season.

Here are the 3 options Leicester can now target-

Gareth Barry- Despite not being a like for like replacement for Mendy, Barry could be a brilliant addition in their midfield at such a time of crisis. Leicester have lost their lure of the previous season and would need to qualify for Europa at least to get their priority targets. And Barry could help them achieve it.

It is clear as daylight that the 36-year-old midfielder isn’t anymore amidst the grand plans of Ronald Koeman. He was really consistent at Goodison Park last term and still retains the discipline and technique in his game. Last season saw many aged players performing at the top level which includes names like Jermain Defoe, Gareth McAuley and more.

James McCarthy- Yet another Everton midfielder, who is likely to leave the Toffees this summer. The 26-year-old Ireland international is immensely versatile in central midfield and has chunks of experience in the top-flight football. Since his move to the then Premier League side Wigan Athletic in 2009, McCarthy has played over 200 games scoring 13 goals and assisting 16 times in the process. He would bring the much-needed balance in Leicester’s midfield.

Marten de Roon- An unlikely option, but nonetheless a potential one. The 26-year-old Dutch midfielder moved to Riverside from Serie A side Atalanta last summer and despite Boro’s underwhelming displays has performed decently. Playing 33 times last in his first Premier League season, Roon has scored four goals. A player of his technique could flourish in the Foxes’ midfield.

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