Rock bottom of the Premier League, the January transfer window could prove to be make or break for Leicester City as they desperately fight for survival.
The upturn in fortunes has come at the right time for a side that are looking to stay in touch with those above them. There seems to be anything up to 8 teams who could easily get dragged back into the relegation scrap and for those teams, they will all be looking to add a bit of quality to their side at the half way mark.
There is no doubt to many Leicester fans that they need a few quality players to freshen up the side and it seems as though manager Nigel Pearson will get both the time and cash to turn the fortunes around. But what do they need?
Below is a summary of what is needed and some realistic transfer targets. However we’d love to hear your ideas for how to freshen the Foxes up too so please feel free to reply and suggest your own players.
1. Striker – Leicester need goals if they are going to have any chance of survival come the end of the season. Record signing Leo Ulloa got off to a brilliant start in the first few games of the season but the goals have dried up somewhat and Pearson has found leaving the Argentine on the bench and bringing him on recently, is the best way to utilise Ulloa. Nugent has never been prolific as a striker in the Premier League and he is arguably the creative force within the side as well as the heartbeat and it is no surprise the Foxes form has picked up with him back in contention.
Both Jamie Vardy and Chris Wood have not had the impact they would have hoped and both would be useful coming off the bench with 20 mins to go in a game, chasing and harassing tired defenders.
A) Jermain Defoe – The former England striker is now applying his trade in the MLS but he is known to want to return to the Premier League, where he hopes he still has a couple of good season left in him. He had been linked with QPR but they have gone cold because of his wage demands but if the powers that be think he can produce the goods for Leicester then don’t be surprised to see them take a risk
Danny Ings – Out of contract in the summer but would he want to swap relegation battles?
Troy Deeney – Proven championship goalscorer but can he cut it in Premier League?
Jordan Rhodes – Same as Deeney, questions marks on the step up in class.
2. Centreback – Leicester have used 3 centrebacks this year in Morgan, Moore and Wasilewski and whilst they have not been dreadful, they do ship some goals and a bit of quality would not go amiss at the moment. Leicester have yet to see anything of summer signing Matt Upson and the former England defender could yet be that man that shores them up. However there is no guarantee that will be the case and so a quality experienced centreback should be high on the list.
A) Michael Dawson – Hull City have a number of central defenders and they all cannot fit into two places. With Dawson just returning from injury, a 6 month loan could be ideal for Leicester. Likewise you could substitute Dawson for former Foxes defender Curtis Davies or even James Chester. Anyone of those Hull City defenders could be useful for Nigel Pearson’s side.
Roger Johnson – Former Premier League defender rebuilding his career at Wolves
Paul Dummett – Making a name for himself at Newcastle
Gareth Mcauley – Another former City defender who has improved since he left the foxes.
3. Leftback – Father time seems to be catching up with Paul Konchesky and though he has been a loyal servant to the Foxes, a role as back up would perhaps suit him best going forward. There is scope to move Jeff Schlupp to left back but learning your trade in the Premier League is perhaps not the best idea for a side struggling to stay up. Add in that Schlupp has been playing very well in Midfield and he will be missing for most of January at the African Cup of Nations then there is a definite need for a quality leftback.
A) Ben Davies – The former Swansea star hasn’t had the run of games he would of liked under Pottechino at Spurs and perhaps a move away would be good for the Welsh International. Again the likelihood of a permanent move is not strong but a 6 month loan could be ideal for all parties and would improve the Foxes side.
Kieran Richardson – Experienced and expendable for Aston Villa
Jose Enrique – Doubtful but doesn’t get much playing time at Liverpool
Benoit Assou-Ekotto – Experienced but also in the twilight of his career.
There is not much need for a midfielder though one could argue we are a bit lightweight. However it is unlikely you will see a midfielder brought in. There has been talk of veteran keeper Mark Schwarzer coming in as back up for Ben Hamer, whilst regular goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel is out. This wouldn’t break the bank much and would give healthy competition.
However the needs of the side have been identified above and the three positions that we have alluded to are going to be key areas for strengthening in January.