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Leicester City had a roller coaster ride after a sensational 2015-16 Premier League title winning campaign as they struggled in their title defence. ‘Tinkerman’ Claudio Ranieri, the architect of the Foxes’ historic triumph, was forced to quit as Leicester boss due to the team’s poor performance.
Assistant manager Craig Shakespeare was promoted as first team boss and he surprisingly upturned their campaign in no time and led his side to secure a 12th placed league finish from an extremely adverse situation. Although the Foxes proved to be the worst ever title defenders in the Premier League history, they were highly acknowledged for their stellar show in their maiden Champions League campaign as they progressed to the quarter final of the competition by defying all odds, before being knocked out by Spanish giants Atletico Madrid despite a lion-hearted effort.
Leicester, however, are back in reality and with no European football to offer, they are finding it extremely hard to keep hold of star attacker Riyad Mahrez who was awarded as PFA Fans’ as well as Players’ Player of the Year for his majestic display during Leicester’s league winning campaign.
The 26-year old Algerian international failed to match his excellence last term and handed in a transfer request this simmer with a view to move elsewhere for Champions League experience. The Foxes have reportedly turned down an initial bid of £20m from Serie A heavyweights AS Roma. An improved bid is being considered and even if it gets rejected, Mahrez’s departure is just a matter of time now amidst interests from European big guns.
We have went through some possible replacements and have shortlisted three such names who can replace the Leicester City star following his egress.
Current Club: FC Porto
The Mexican international had a couple of decent campaigns for Portuguese heavyweights FC Porto and netted 12 times since his move from Eredivisie outfit FC Twente a couple of years back. He has been capped 28 times for Mexico’s senior side and has scored 7 goals for his country so far. The winger is known for his work ethics, defensive contributions, strong dribbling skills and vision, along with admirable range of passing. Corona, aka ‘Tacatito’ will fit straight in on right flank of Leicester City’s lineup.
Current club: Sevilla
The former Getafe winger joined La Liga giants Sevilla last summer and impressed with his passing, crossing and set-piece ability. He appeared 45 times and netted 11 and assisted 9 goals across all competitions. Sevilla might not allow him to leave this early but the progress of Joaquin Correa and the arrival of Nolito might convince The White and Reds to listen to offers for the former Spain youth international. Leicester must grab this opportunity to replace Mahrez with a quality signing.
Current Club: FC Spartak Moscow
Promes, the promising Dutch winger, has shown his consistency for the past three campaigns in Russian Premier League. He can be a shrewd signing due to his goal scoring trait along with strong passing, dribbling and shooting attributes. He loves to cut inside with his pace, likes to do layoffs and often tests opponent’s custodian with his long-range efforts. The 25-year old Dutch international is enjoying a flying start to the 2017-18 domestic campaign and has already netted twice in two outings across all competitions. Promes’ pending Premier League move might occur finally if Leicester City eye him as Mahrez’s replacement.