We’re continuing our series taking an early look at potential arrivals and departures from Leicester City during the upcoming transfer window. Following on from Goalkeepers, Defenders and Midfielders, today we’ll look at the Forwards.
Last summer, we spent about £45m on forwards, who brought back a total of nine league goals. The process of undoing some bad deals appears to be underway with reports numerous, albeit conflicting, reports of interest in the disappointing Ahmed Musa. Multiple clubs either including or not including Fenerbahce, depending on your source may be pursuing the Nigerian and he’s open to a move so this one could well happen, although the club deny that they’re actively shopping him.
Update: Musa’s agented has since been quoted that the striker “won’t be leaving England”. Slightly cryptic, bu certainly rules out the Turkish champions.
There have also been rumours that Islam Slimani could head back to Sporting, for half the price he was bought for just a year ago. I doubt the club is willing to give up so fully on such an expensive acquisition already.
Equally unlikely are the suggestions that Everton might be targeting Jamie Vardy as a replacement if and when Romelu Lukaku moves on. Vardy is much more than simply our top scorer, he’s integral to the way we want to play. I’m not saying it can't happen, but the money we’d need to make from the sale would be bad value for the Toffees.
Tom Lawrence may also be in demand, having impressed so much on loan at Ipswich that he was named their player of the season. Almost all Championship teams would be interested and some have claimed that he’ll be one of Newcastle’s top targets after their return to the Premier League.
Wes Morgan thinks we need to do more to take the goalscoring pressure off Jamie Vardy’s shoulders and it’s hard to argue there. The strongest rumour out there at the moment is Manchester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho, who has fallen down their pecking order lately. Incredibly talented at just 20 years old, he certainly fits the Foxes recent transfer strategy and is apparently on good terms with his international teammate Wilfred Ndidi.
Still, interest appears to be sky high with a host of other premier league teams including West Ham, West Brom and Everton, all of whom finished above us last year. The Baggies have also been linked with perennial Leicester rumour Troy Deeney and it appears that we can finally close the door on that deal.
Other than that, the early rumours have us relying on our youth for depth up front, including the likes of development squad attacking midfielder Harvey Barnes and Josh Gordon, an interesting prospect signed from non-league Stafford Rangers in April. The club have also been linked with a possible move for Coventry’s Jordan Ponticelli. The 18 year old is highly thought of, but yet to make his first team debut for the Sky Blues.
In all, the potential is there for this position to be completely shaken up this summer, but ultimately we might see very little change. Musa is halfway out the door but Vardy and Slimani are less likely to move and Shinji appears to be going nowhere. There’s been very little talk about Leo Ulloa one way or another.