Friday, September 29, 2023

Leicester City Positioning Themselves To Move In For This Midfielder: Right Choice For The Foxes?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent report, A Bola has mentioned that Leicester City are positioning themselves to move in for Sporting CP midfielder Joao Palhinha. However, it is understood that the Foxes will have to activate the Portuguese player’s £53m release clause to land him (via A Bola).

Palhinha’s Impressive Campaign In Portuguese Football

The Lisboa-born midfield enforcer has caught the eye for putting on a string of commanding displays at the heart of Ruben Amorim’s midfield. Palhinha has been involved in 17 matches for the Portuguese outfit this term, scoring one goal in the process in multiple competitions.

The 25-year-old deserves a lot of plaudits for influencing the game at both ends of the field as he is averaging 4.1 tackles, 1.6 interceptions, 1.2 clearances, 1.7 shots and 0.9 dribbles per 90 minutes in the Liga NOS. He has even taken care of the ball when distributing possession after making 85.2% of his attempted passes in the Portuguese first division (stats via whoscored).

Palhinha is currently playing some of the best football of his career, so he might fancy his chances in the Premier League where he will be able to play with and against some of the best players in world football. Leicester could be an attractive destination for the player if Brendan Rodgers is willing to offer him regular game time in the coming seasons.

Leicester City positioning themselves to move in for Palhinha who is in action in the photo
Joao Palhinha of Sporting Braga break free into space and shoots on goal during the UEFA Europa League round of 32 first leg match between Rangers FC and Sporting Braga at Ibrox Stadium on February 20, 2020, in Glasgow, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

What Does The Portuguese Midfield Ace Bring To The Table?

Standing at 1.90m, Palhinha can be a dominant presence at the centre of the park. He is proficient at using strength and work-rate to hassle the opposition and win the ball back for his team. The Portuguese sensation has excellent defensive awareness to deal with the danger quickly and can even contribute by scoring the odd goal in the final third. However, he is not the quickest player in Amorim’s first XI, which can sometimes make him a liability when he finds himself outnumbered on the defensive end of the field.

Is Palhinha The Right Choice For The Foxes?

Palhinha ticks all the right boxes in terms of what Brendan Rodgers expects from his midfielders. He is a hard-working tackler who will add a lot of bite and steel to the Leicester midfield and increase competition for places within Brendan Rodgers’ squad.

At 25, the two-time Portugal Under-20 international is entering the prime stage of his playing career, so the Foxes can expect to see him get better in the years to come if they can bring him to the King Power Stadium this month or at the end of this campaign. With all things considered, Palhinha will be a good choice for the East London giants as long as he can cope with the high intensity of Premier League football.

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