We knew this day might come.
From the minute the season ended, the rumors started to swirl that Leicester City’s three biggest stars were in demand and could be spread all over Europe by now.
We put up a good fight and managed to keep top scorer Jamie Vardy out of Arsenal’s clutches, but that still left playmaker Riyad Mahrez and midfield dynamo N’Golo Kanté on the table.
Over recent days the rumours about Kanté began to pick up, with Chelsea the front runners to secure his signature. Today, that deal appears to be done with a fee agreed between the two clubs.
Those who watched the Vardy deal might take in that statement that the deal is still dependent on talks between club and player. Unfortunately, I’m here to say that further discussion will make no difference.
In this case the player is still keen to make the move and, while they tried very hard to keep him, the club appear to have accepted defeat on this one. The deal is likely to become official in the next few days.
While this may be a big downer itself, it should also that whatever has been said about Mendy being the ideal replacement was based almost entirely on them looking similar. He’s a very good player, but they’re a completely different stylistically. Leicester’s four-man midfield will be very difficult to maintain without Kanté’s energy.
Yep. It’s been a rough day for the club.
Still, it could be a lot worse. Of the three players we could have lost, this might have been the worst, but he’s still only one player. Vardy will stay and things are looking good for keeping hold of Mahrez too, with manager Claudio Ranieri saying he expects him to stay.
He’s not a man who says "Oh coach, I want to go. No, he is happy." - Claudio Ranieri on Riyad Mahrez
So yes, this is a sad day for the club and it’s fans. We’ve lost one of the better players to have ever worn the blue shirt of Leicester.
Though it may seem like he will be almost impossible to replace, isn’t that exactly what we said a year ago about Cambiasso?