This one’s been edging steadily closer for days now and it’s finally over the line. The club have announced the signing of Bartosz “The Cabbage” Kapustka (nickname is happening no matter how much you hate it). In a related move, my spell checker has been given a big pay rise.
Welcome to Leicester City, Bartosz Kapustka!— Leicester City (@LCFC) August 3, 2016
The 19-year-old joins for a reported £7.5m from Cracovia, in his native Poland. For such a young player, he stood out in his country’s EURO 2016 campaign, winning the man of the match award in the win over Northern Ireland.
Primarily described as a left winger, he can play either side and a well as through the middle or in a no. 10 role. Almost inevitably, 20 or so Arsenal blogs will interpret this as proof that Mahrez is on the way out. I’d advise not listening (in general as well as in this instance).
Ranieri's interest was a big factor for me. He was asking about me, he wanted me to join the team. This convinced me, but there were many factors - Bartosz Kapustka
If anything is confirmed by this deal, it’s that Leicester City have clearly moved in a new direction in their transfer activity since January. The club is looking to bring in as many exciting young talents as possible.
In fact, he’s the 6th signing under 24 years old this year, with only free transfer Luis Hernandez and backup goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler arriving over the age.
I can understand this is frustrating for a team that’s just won the league and sold their best player. We should be getting better for this year, not next year, especially with the Champions League on the horizon.
Personally, I’m thrilled with this policy, and not just because I only sign young players on Football Manager.
Title or not, Leicester City are unlikely to attract star players in their prime. We’re having a hard enough time getting the ones already here to stay.
What we can seem to do is use our position attract great young players. They won’t all become stars, maybe none of them will, but they might and they will join the team.
Demarai Gray was one of these players and has been the standout player of the preseason so far. The tactic can work and is an absolute must for a mid sized team to stay competitive at the very top. Give the kids a chance, everyone.