Could Leicester City Return To These Familiar Faces? – Opinion

Following their relegation from the Premier League last season, Leicester City saw many departures. The likes of Youri Tielemans, James Maddison and Harvey Barnes all left,whilst some figures found temporary homes, but will they be important next season?

With contracts coming to an end for many and potential moves for others, those who went on loan could become an integral part of Enzo Maresca’s system next season. Especially with the expected financial constraints, relying on loan players could be crucial to the Foxes’ survival.

Those that had moved had a reason behind it. The players may have wanted to play at a higher level of football more reflective of their ability. On the other hand, Maresca could have felt they didn’t suit his style. Therefore, it may not be easy for the figures to slip back into the starting eleven come August.

Boubakary Soumaré

25-year-old Boubakary Soumaré joined Leicester City in the summer of 2021. After a mediocre tenure in the Midlands, appearing just 59 times, the midfielder would then find minutes on loan at Sevilla following the Foxes relegation.

The Frenchmen has played a major role in the Spanish side’s campaign. With Champions League football, Soumaré has been able to show his qualities at the highest level.

The loan is believed to have been formed as the 25-year-old felt he could play at a higher level. Furthermore, he would have competed with Wilfred Ndidi for the midfield position as they play a similar role. However, the Nigerian’s contract runs out at the end of the 2023/24 season. This could lead to Maresca relying on a cost-effective option in Soumaré. Another option would be for the Foxes to cash in after a relatively successful season and find a figure more adjusted to Maresca’s style.

Victor Kristiansen

Victor Kristiansen joined Leicester City from FC København in the hope of keeping Brendan Rodgers’ side up. When Maresca came in he clearly felt the Danish international wasn’t fit for his new philosophy.

Kristiansen is a young, quick and attacking full-back, whereas his new manager wants an option that is suited to coming into a back three in possession. This is exemplified by his lack of game time in pre-season.

Ambitious Bologna under Thiago Motta would then capture his signature on a season-long loan. The Italian side are currently third in the league with the 21-year-old playing a important role. As Enzo Maresca doesn’t feel Kthe youngster fits his setup and he has excelled for Bologna, it makes sense for the deal to become permanent.

Daniel Iversen

Danish goalkeeper Daniel Iversen has found himself on another loan, this time at Stoke City, but will this one become permanent? The 26-year-old found some game time in the Premier League after Danny Ward’s horrific performances.

Iversen has proved he is capable of being a great shot-stopper through his loan spells. However, Enzo Maresca wants a shot stopper who is confident with using their feet like Mads Hermansen. Therefore, this shuts down any opportunities for the 26-year-old at the club.

As a result, a permanent move to a Championship side could be a great option. Iversen has proved his quality already and can make the number-one position his own.

Luke Thomas

Once a young emerging squad player under Brendan Rodgers, Luke Thomas has struggled to find his feet lately. The 22-year-old excelled in the 2020/21 season, finding himself a part of the FA Cup-winning squad. With European football and injuries to both James Justin and Ricardo Pereira always likely, Thomas found himself a significant amount of minutes.

Since then, Thomas failed to impress over his competitors. As a result, he struggled for minutes and initially joined Sheffield United on a season-long loan before seeing that cut short. A move to Middlesbrough followed in January.

As with Kristiansen, the Englishman doesn’t fit Maresca’s system. Therefore, a move away from the King Power could be likely to find more minutes.

Writer’s View

Overall, these players went on loan because Maresca felt they couldn’t impact his approach. Therefore, all the players mentioned could be sold this summer. The Italian wants to build a squad of his players suited to his style.

The Foxes have been linked to the likes of Stefano Sensi and Mandela Keita, meaning Soumaré’s tenure could come to an end. Recruitment under the manager has been strong. The club will look to continue this trend but with tight financial constraints, it could become tough.

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