Five Leicester players that could improve United next season
On Sunday, Leicester City dropped out of the race for the Champions League after a 2-0 defeat at home to Manchester United.
The defeat ended any hopes of Leicester hosting Champions League football next season and with a few players that could be on their way out this summer, United could pick up a couple that might see an invitation to play in Europe’s premier competition too good to turn down.
Here are five players at Leicester that could improve United next season...
With David De Gea’s questionable form once again posing questions about his future, United might be in the lookout for another goalkeeper this summer.
There’s been plenty of talk about Dean Henderson potentially making the step-up to first choice and rumours last summer suggested that Dinamo Zagreb’s Dominik Livakovic was supposedly a target.
One player, however, that has always been linked with a potential move to Old Trafford is Kasper Schmeichel. At 33 years of age, Schmeichel is not exactly young but comes with a lot of experience at international and club level.
If De Gea was to leave, experience is something that Henderson would lack compared to someone like a Schmeichel.
Statsbomb did a study in January this year by taking Expected Save Percentage away from Save Percentage to create ‘Adjusted Save Percentage’ to show which Premier League ‘keepers were outperforming expected goals.
Schmeichel was second in the table behind Liverpool’s Allison and was 12 places ahead of De Gea.
Granted, this was in January and the stats probably have changed a bit now but it shows that Schmeichel is probably a better ‘keeper than people like to give him credit for.
Also, Schmeichel’s pass distribution is slightly better than De Gea’s too, with the Dane having a 76% completion rate compared to De Gea’s 68%.
Schmeichel might improve United short term but with time not on his side and him still being prone to the odd mistake here and there, it will certainly raise some eyebrows if he was to leave the King Power this summer.
United need another defender. Maguire is good but lacks a decent partner and if Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side are going to compete for the title in years to come, this current defence will not be good enough to lift the Premier League.
Like Schmeichel, Chilwell has been linked with United on and off for several years now. Aaron Wan-Bissaka offers decent support down the right-hand side but on the left, Luke Shaw’s injuries and Brandon Williams’ inexperience sometimes leave Solskjær short in that position.
Chilwell could potentially offer some decent competition on that side of the pitch with his performances linking him to clubs in the so-called ‘big six’.
Although he has proved to be a decent player for Leicester this season, he won’t be sold for cheap even without Leicester’s failure to qualify for the Champions League, as we saw with Maguire’s fee last summer.
However, Chilwell is a predominantly attacking full-back which could help support the counter-attack on that side of the pitch. His price-tag though is something that should be considered.
Although he has been an important player for Leicester this season, there may be cheaper alternatives that can do a similar job.
For players of Football Manager 2017, Tielemans was a god-send and most players’ first signing due to his ridiculous potential. The Belgian was at Anderlecht then and via Monaco, has ended up in the West Midlands.
At 23 years old, Tielemans still has a very decent future ahead of him. He has become an important player for Leicester this season, playing 37 times and scoring three times from midfield.
It is unlikely that Tielemans would move to United due to him only recently signing for Leicester and snubbing a move to Old Trafford to go to the King Power.
If Paul Pogba was to leave this summer though, Tielemans might become a transfer target for United. The Belgian possesses similar traits to Pogba, being well known for his long shots, through balls and composure on the ball.
Like Chilwell however, the price tag may put United off with Leicester probably being very reluctant to sell a promising 23-year old that could get a lot better with age.
Maddison is the one player on this list that would make the most difference to United’s side.
Being compared to David Beckham, Maddison can play either as a No.10 or as a part of a midfield two and would provide something completely different to Fred or Scott McTominay.
Fred and McTominay are valuable players but are quite one-dimensional in how they play. Neither really are very good at attacking phases of play and struggle to create chances.
When Pogba is injured, United’s midfield tends to struggle in creating chances and can be extremely flat.
Maddison would fix some of those problems. A midfield three of Nemanja Matic behind Pogba and Maddison would be very exciting as Pogba and Maddison would be able to partner together to make United’s counter-attack even more lethal than it is due to the flair and creativity both players possess.
Compared to McTominay and Fred, Maddison creates far more chances. Maddison made 21 big chances this season compared to the four by Fred and two by McTominay.
Like most of Leicester’s best players, the price tag could once again be a stumbling block for United to get over.
With Brendan Rodgers’ side failing to qualify for the Champions League, it might open up a door where Maddison wants to leave the King Power.
Whether he would want to come to United and whether the Glazers would be willing to shell out a very large amount of money on Maddison are two problems that might stop him from being able to become the next David Beckham at United.
With United supposedly interested in Jaden Sancho as well, it is unlikely that both Maddison and Sancho would come this summer due to the large price-tags.
A player that Leicester might be willing to leave for a relatively small fee is Islam Slimani. The Algerian joined the Foxes the season after their Premier League triumph but has failed to live up to his hefty £28 million fee.
Eight goals in 35 games was a poor return but Slimani didn’t fit into the system under Claudio Ranieri and Craig Shakespeare and was always going to play second fiddle to Jamie Vardy.
Slimani is a target man and could provide an alternative to the success that we’ve seen from Odion Ighalo as an option to bring off the bench to chase a goal.
Although his stats at Leicester aren’t convincing, Slimani has reinvented himself on loan at Monaco this season, scoring nine goals in 18 games and providing 16 direct goal involvements.
With Leicester open to offers for the Algerian, Slimani could be a good signing at a reasonable price that could provide some competition up-front and give time for Anthony Martial to recover instead of the Frenchman having to start most games due to lack of depth in that position.
Age could be a problem though with Slimani on the wrong side of 33. However, the last time United signed a so-called ‘finished’ target man that was well into his 30’s, it didn’t end up too badly did it?