Amongst the summer of record breaking transfers for Leicester City was a less anticipated but equally exciting £7m signing of Polish teenager Bartosz Kapustka, although the Leicester Mercury has today reported that they believe it was a £2m fee with add ons. The tricky winger was coming off a strong Euro 2016 campaign and Ranieri was very keen to add him to the squad.
Since then, however, Kapustka has only seen the pitch in friendlies and with development squad. Given the current shortage in midfield, there had been hope that Kapustka might be given a chance, having taken that role for his country at times. However, manager Claudio Ranieri has given out quite a strong message that he feels the player is not yet ready for the rigours of the Premier League.
Kapustka is a good player, getting better, but I don't know when he will be ready to play in the Premier League. He is intelligent, he plays well, but he has to understand the Premier League is a battle for every ball.
This is unfortunate news for those of us hoping to get a better look at the player, and certainly for the player himself, who would obviously be hoping for some game time.
However, as I said at the time of the signing, this was clearly a move for the future and not necessarily one intended to improve the team this year. His age is a fairy clear indicator that he still has development to go though, but don't forget that he was signed directly from a fairly weak Polish league.
In recent transfer history, his closest comparison would be the ill fated signing of Andrej Kramaric. If Ranieri says he needs more time, and the Premier League is a big adjustment for most foreign players, then lets give him the time he needs.
After all, it’s certainly not the end of his season for the club. Ranieri made similar comments about Ahmed Musa earlier this season, just weeks before his longest extended run in the side. Kapustka has the raw talent for certain, and his country seem to like playing him.
The team will keep on going with Amartey, King and maybe Matty James for now and who knows, maybe the ‘little cabbage’ as his countrymen call him will be ready by February when we’ll lose Schlupp and Mahrez to the African Cup of Nations.