This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Leicester City’s summer transfer window has been rather contrasting after they kicked off the summer by snatching Ayoze Perez from Newcastle United for £30m before earlier this week the popular Harry Maguire left the club in a £80m move to Manchester United.
Since winning the Premier League in 2016, fans have had to endure a trio of rather average seasons with back-to-back ninth place finishes the best since then.
Though, under Brendan Rodgers things are looking rather positive after he was appointed back in February – there is a simmering feeling that they could flirt with the European heights this coming season.
In addition to Perez, the Foxes were able to confirm the permanent signing of Youri Tielemans and now they could be about to further strengthen their midfield department as the Guardian claim a £18m bid for Dennis Praet has been agreed with Sampdoria.
On the chalkboard
The skilfully tenacious midfielder could give Rodgers a much-needed plan B in midfield, especially if they are wanting to sure things up or desperately hold onto a result.
He is likely to be directly competing with both Tielemans and James Maddison in the heart of the pitch. Though he may not offer the same offensive exploits that the young English star possesses, he can offer so much more when a change is required.
Praet is an accurate passer and ranks above both of Leicester’s two key midfielders after averaging a success rate of 87.3% per game last season.
The Belgian’s true ability begins to shine through when analysing his defensive capabilities from midfield, which seems strange for a player that has been utilised in attacking midfield and on the left-wing in the past.
Tielemans is the more defensive of the two aforementioned midfielders so he will be a good barometer on the impact Praet could potentially have.
The 25-year-old averaged 1.9 tackles per game compared his fellow countryman’s 1.3 per game whilst he also rated higher in terms of interceptions at 1.1 per game whilst Tielemans only managed a lowly 0.4 per game.
It is Praet’s hard-working nature and ability to cover a lot of ground quickly that makes him an interesting prospect for Rodgers to deploy when needing that different approach to a game.
He certainly offers something they may lack in midfield but there’s nothing to suggest why either Tielemans or Maddison should be dropped so he may well have to come in as that alternative throw of the dice.