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Leicester City’s hunt for a new centre-half before the transfer window slammed shut on Thursday night ended with them bringing in Austrian defender Aleksandar Dragovic on a season-long loan deal from German outfit Bayer Leverkusen.
The Foxes boss, Craig Shakespeare, tried to sign several other options, but saw no progress on the club’s approach for Arsenal defender Calum Chambers and West Bromwich Albion captain Jonny Evans, prompting him to turn their attention towards the 26-year old Dragovic.
Leicester were in the market for a new centre-back all summer, despite having brought in reinforcements in the shape of Harry Maguire from Hull City for a £17million fee very early in the transfer window. Since his arrival, the Englishman has struck up a decent partnership alongside club captain Wes Morgan and has been one of the Foxes’ best player up until the international break.
However, apart from Maguire and Morgan, Shakespeare does lack a fit and firing centre-back who can come in, in case of any injury or suspension. Veteran defender Robert Huth is out injured and is still working his way back towards full fitness. Tunisian centre-back Yohan Benalouane has found himself on the wrong side of the manager ever since that rash challenge he made in the pre-season.
So, it was sensible to bring in a new central defender before the season getting into its full flow. Dragovic is someone who would fit the bill in the Foxes’ scheme of things. The 26-year old is 6ft 1in in height and possesses a robust physicality that makes him perfect for the English game. He is known for his reading of the game and anticipation skills which allow him to position himself adeptly to see off potential dangers.
Strong in tackles, alert and aware when not on the ball, and very much composed when he has the ball at his feet, combined with an eye for a pass, the former FC Basel man has displayed all the necessary traits needed to excel in the Premier League.
He isn’t the sort of the defender who will bully players in the defensive half, but he is more of an intelligent operator, who reads the situations well and knows what to do and when to do it. There exist some deficiencies in his game, no doubt, mainly his ability in aerial duels, but that one flawed part of the game doesn’t make him a poor defender.
Over 300 career appearances for FC Basel, Dynamo Kyiv and now Bayer Leverkusen, and with quite a number of trophies to show for, the 26-year old is someone with proven pedigree. Experienced in the Champions League and the Europa League, Dragovic is a constant fixture in the line-up of the Austrian national team as well.
Dragovic has been performing admirably at the top level for a number of years now and his signing will definitely add more resoluteness and solidity to the Leicester backline without a doubt. Signing him on the deadline day will prove to be a really shrewd piece of business for Shakespeare and Leicester.