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All aboard the ‘what if’ train of lament for Dennis Praet

Farewell for now, Golden God

Chelsea v Leicester City - Emirates FA Cup Final - Wembley Stadium Photo by Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA Images via Getty Images

Are you too left ruing over the ‘what if?’ potential of Dennis Praet at Leicester? Then you’re in the right place, all aboard this train.

With the announcement of a season-long loan to Torino, there’s the option to buy at the end too, Dennis Praet’s Leicester career looks like it’s coming to an end. Just three years and forty-two appearances after it began. In 2018 when the Belgian was the final addition to Brendan Rodgers’ side, his signature from Sampdoria was an interesting one. We weren’t desperately crying out for another creative midfielder, but at a relatively low price tag, he could have been a shrewd addition. Sometimes things just don’t work out, and it’s neither party’s fault. It’s a shame though, it feels like we’ve not seen the full potential of what he could have done in a Leicester City shirt.

Here at the Fosse Posse we’re all quite partial to Praet and I’ve unashamedly flown the flag for giving him a bigger, better role for a while. But between a very solid Leicester midfield, the indefatigable Youri Tielemans, our blonde Belgian has struggled for a solid run in the side. It’s not a lack of effort on his part. When he has been called upon, he’s usually delivered. Bad luck has played a role too, just as Praet was making an impression last season and looking like a player who needed to start, he suffered both a knee injury (away at Manchester City) and then a hamstring injury at Stoke.

A shame given his versatility and our well documented creative issues in the latter half of last season.

Big fan of him in behind the forward/s personally

It’s hard not to wonder what if. What if he’d played more? Or injuries that have been so focused to a couple of areas of the pitch happened elsewhere? Praet would have been a shoe-in. In most other teams, he’d walk into the starting eleven. He’s exactly the type of player that Arsenal should have signed, they were our main competitor for him allegedly, over some of the bigger names who don’t seem so invested. Praet is a workhorse, he’ll run the whole match and he’s capable at both ends. There’s a reason that Roberto Martinez wanted him in and around the Belgium squad for the Euros despite him recovering from his injury.

Praet was ambitious with what he said when he joined us, but he was also used to playing week in, week out. You have to admire a player who is hungry and doesn’t enjoy sitting on the bench for prolonged periods. Even if watching them play every week means that won’t be in a Leicester kit. I wish nothing but the best to him and it certainly feels like Torino are getting a good deal. A player with great determination, an excellent first touch and capable of a nice goal.

Name and shame...

The departure of one third of our Belgian trio is a bit of a catch-22 situation. On the one hand, it’s a potential loss of quality in the squad. Of a player who has actually looked handy in the role behind the striker and even out on the right. It helps that we have Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall in the wings, but Praet has a wealth of top flight and international experience. His game is also much more balanced between offensive prowess and defensive capabilities than some of our other squad options. However, without the departure, and cash that any player leaving generates, it didn’t look like we were able to dip into the transfer market, which we clearly need to do.

As a Golden God departs, another....I’ll leave that sentence open as while it looks likely to be just Ademola Lookman arriving, as a Foxes fan, you just never know! Speculative loan deals haven’t always worked for us, and a season is a long time.

On a less important, non-footballing note, there is one other mistake that Torino has the opportunity to right. Considering the club ran with the nickname of Golden God, not once was the Belgian utilised in shirt campaigns or generally for his modelling skills. Over to you Torino marketing team.