For the fourth summer in a row, Leicester City have made news on transfer deadline day, announcing the signing of midfielder Dennis Praet from Sampdoria on a five year deal.
The fee is thought to be around £18m, although the Italian side were previously asking for a lot more. The rumour appeared to have died down until Tuesday, when it suddenly reared it’s head again.
Everything from there fell into place pretty quickly. The clubs reached an agreement on Wednesday and Praet flew in for his medical this morning. Some personal details were still to be completed, but that seems to have gone well.
The expectation is that, while he will obviously compete for a first team place, his likely role is on the bench. The Foxes were lacking a reserve option with the ability to cover for midfielders James Maddison and Youri Tielemans, and Praet fits that role well.
Whether he’s starting or adding depth, Praet adds quality to the squad and a strong presence on the ball in midfield. He’s not quite the creative force that Maddison is, but nonetheless is an improvement to the squad.
His former manager at Sampdoria certainly agreed, after leaving the Belgian out of his squad for a midweek friendly.
I will miss him. He’s one of the best midfielders in Italy - Eusabio Di Francesco
Praet has been with the Italian side since 2016, when he arrived in a €10m deal from his first professional club Anderlecht, for whom he made over 100 appearances.
For his last three years in Belgium, he was a regular midfield partner to Leicester’s biggest signing of the summer, Youri Tielemans. Their connectionshould help him to settle in quickly, despite his late arrival.
It would be a very quick turnaround if he were to be included in the squad vs Wolves on Sunday, but an important hole has been filled in the squad, and any chances of Khanya Leshabela breaking through are severely reduced.