This morning Leicester City will wrap up their summer training camp and head back home to get their season’s preparations truly underway.
With the possible exception of a replacement for Harry Maguire, the Foxes’ squad looks pretty set for the upcoming season. The biggest issue at this point seems to be one that has followed us for a while: there’s too many players.
Three players left the squad at the end of last season, but Youri Tielemans came back, while Justin and Perez came in as direct replacements for Simpson and Okazaki. Meanwhile, five players return from loan spells and two more from long term injuries.
It does make sense that we haven’t seen any major departures yet, as this is Rodgers’ first chance to see several of the players that left the club in January before the new manager took over. Now that he’s had a look at his 31-man squad, several will have to leave with the Premier League limit at 25.
Daniel Amartey - RB/DM
Amartey, a CB for Ghana, was originally signed as a midfielder and finally seemed to have found his place at RB last year, before a nasty injury ruled him out for the season.
The 24 year old showed he has the quality to play here, and there’s no talk of him leaving, but you have to wonder where he fits in the squad. James Justin’s arrival could push him down to a 5th choice fullback, while Wildred Ndidi, Hamza Choudhury and Nampalys Mendy are ahead of him for what is usually one defensive midfield spot.
Matty James - CM
James is healthy, for now. That’s about it, for the moment. Even as his greatest apologist, it seems like surely his time at the club must be done. He’s a talented player, who any Championship side would be lucky to have and yet here we are with no offers.
He’s making Premier League money and maybe isnt willing to give that up. No team would be willing to risk that kind of contract on a player with his history.
Andy King - CM
The official stance of the Fosse Posse remains that Andy King is Leicester’s greatest player and should be treasured always.
The realistic stance of every individual involved is that it’s time for us to move on from King, at least as a player. Assuming he’s not ready to live out his life as a coach/mascot, King may have a few local options after Derby, Forest and West Brom were interested in January, but none are queuing up yet.
Adrien Silva - CM
Silva wants out of Leicester. At the point, it’s pretty hard to blame him.
Leicester City midfielder Adrien Silva to France Football: "Monaco is my priority. You have to recognise people who reach out to you. I will never forget what Monaco have done for me. I felt really good there. With Jardim, we like to work together."— Get French Football News (@GFFN) July 11, 2019
Of all the players on this list, he’s the only one you can be certain wont be around next year. There are a few suitors, but Monaco are the one to watch for now.
Nampalys Mendy - CM
I don’t think all 4 central midfielders will leave, at least unless another arrives. Still, there’s no denying that we’ve got too many, and that Rodgers made it clear down the stretch that Mendy was not one his favoured options.
There are currently no rumours of interested clubs, or that Leicester are looking to move him, but it has to be a possibility.
Bartosz Kapustka - ???
Rodgers, like most of us, hasn’t had a chance to see Kapustka, who is still recovering from a nasty injury picked up on loan. Interestingly, it seems like the former Poland international could be the main beneficiary of being judged by a fresh set of eyes.
It may seem that I am unwanted there, but I feel great in Leicester...I also met the coach Brendan Rodgers, I had the opportunity to talk to him about my future in the club. These were very positive words, giving high hopes. I will say this: everything depends now on me - Kapustka spoke to Polish outlet Sportowe Fakty (translated)
His career in Leicester seemed to be done after he was sent out to the 2nd tier of Belgian football, and failed to impress. There’s no doubt that he had talent, and also that no one will be looking to sign him with his current injury. Maybe Rodgers is the man to get something from him.
Fousseni Diabaté - LW/RW
Diabaté actually hasn't returned yet after his loan spell in Turkey ran a few weeks longer than the English season, so it might be a while longer before Rodgers can make his decision on a player we were all excited about not long ago.
Unlike the rest of this list, there have actually been some reports linking him with an exit. His play was well received in Turkey, and Sivasspor are apparently willing to bring him back.
Rachid Ghezzal - LW/RW
The inconsistent winger is so far at the back of my mind that I nearly left him off the list. After Rodgers’ arrival he was completely removed from the discussion for a place in the match day squad, and that was before Perez arrived as another wide option.
Newcastle are interested in signing Leicester winger Rachid Ghezzal. Leicester are bringing in another winger from Europe, so Rachid will be surplus to requirements. Expect an £8,000,000 fee. #NUFC #LCFC— Martin Cockshaw #FBPE (@martincockshaw) July 2, 2019
The first season at a new level and club can be difficult, so we should hold out a tiny amount of hope that he can turn it around, but if the above rumour is true, we should probably be all over it.
Islam Slimani - ST
Opinion is strongly divided on the former record transfer’s time here, but most fans would rather see Kelechi Iheanacho on this list. There is no interest in the Nigerian though, and the Foxes will have hope that the 22 year has a lot more room to grow than 31 year old Slimani.
There does appear to be some interest from outside, with the Mercury reporting that Olimpiacos have enquired about a transfer. However, with the Algerian international still busy taking his country into the semi finals of the Africa Cup of Nations, this is another option Rodgers has not yet had a chance to see.
His transfers in and out of the club usually go down to the deadline.
Outgoing transfers has always been a difficulty for the club, with unwanted players often taking years to be unloaded. Certainly there are players on this list with no outside interest at all, and some may stay around due to a lack of other options.
If I had to make predictions, I think Amartey, Mendy and Ghezzal will probably remain on the (far) edge of the first team squad and Silva will get the permanent deal that he’s looking for.
I wouldnt be surprised if the club had to again resort to loan moves for King, James, Diabaté and Slimani. A return to Belgium seems like the best Kaspustka can hope for, with the under 23 squad far more likely, given his injury.