While Claude Puel’s heavy use of youth in the friendly against Valencia this week looks like a great sign for the future of the club, it also looked like the end of the line for a few of the club’s veterans. That’s already proven to the case for Ahmed Musa, who was announced yesterday to have moved to Al Nassr in Saudi Arabia.
Fans were already clamouring for a replacement on the wing, so many are hopeful that this will push the club towards a signing. Puel did say yesterday that signings could be made if players left.
I think if a valuable player for us has to leave the club of course we will have another player
Interpretations of value will differ, for me it doesn't include Musa. Nonetheless, another winger could be on the way in. According to l’Équipe the Foxes are in negotiations with Monaco over Algerian international (sound familiar?) Rachid Ghezzal.
Even so, I expect the majority of the remaining summer business here to go via the departure lounge.
Along with Musa, strikers Leo Ulloa and Islam Slimani were also left out of the Valencia squad, despite being fit and not part of any other games this week. Those two must have particularly felt the message loud and clear when the boss opted to play Fousseni Diabaté, who is not a striker and clearly showed us that, up front to start the second half.
Observation- diabate is not a striker— KLG (@Magical_Mxdders) August 1, 2018
Unfortunately, interest in the two has been as low as it was this time last year, although Portuguese newspaper Correio da Manhã believe that both Sporting and Everton are interested in Slimani’s services.
If demand for the Algerian is slow, progress for Ulloa has been glacial. Early in the summer Brighton, where he spent last summer on loan, confirmed that they weren't interested in a permanent deal. That’s been pretty much it, even for rumours. The most recent update came last week on instagram, where he admitted that he doesn't know what the future holds.
If no one comes in with a bid, he could find himself playing with he development squad for until January, unless the team were to outright release him, which seems unlikely.
I think the youth of today say ‘squad goals’ - quite the long list of players for Claude Puel but Maguire and Vardy due to report back next week following their World Cup success. pic.twitter.com/Oy9FDt8eXr— Ian Stringer (@StringerSport) August 1, 2018
Andy King and Danny Simpson were also not used, instead featuring in a game for the U23 side. The explanation given is that they needed to get more minutes and, rather than play 45 for the first team, 90 minutes in another game would be more useful.
Still, with the starting 11 seeming to come into shape in the last game, it’s a clear indication that neither is part of that.
As much as this blog remains staunchly monarchist with regards to King, it’s clear that we don’t need as many midfielders as we have, in a squad that’s clearly too large at the moment. Several players have to go by next week to cut down to a 25 man squad anyway and I wouldn't be surprised if the Wales international was one of them. Again, provided interest in his transfer develops from its current level of essentially 0.