“We need a goalscorer.”
If you’ve read any of the message boards over the weekend, this little line will have made several appearances in the aftermath of City’s 2-0 loss at Bristol City on Saturday.
For all of Leicester’s gilt-edged opportunities in front of goal at Ashton Gate there was no return, and Sven-Goran Eriksson’s side duly paid the heavy price of defeat.
A first half which saw Steve Howard miss from the penalty spot with the match goalless epitomised a frustrating afternoon in a game which simply should have been put to bed by half-time.
But back to the old goal scorer chestnut. We don’t have one? Looking over to the substitutes bench sees a host of disheartened bodies, not least Matty Fryatt, who cuts a frustrated figure at this moment in time.
This is the same player who has a goals to games ratio of slightly better than one in two for the club over the last two seasons. Granted one of those seasons was in League One, but a Fryatt who was sidelined with injury for much of last season still found the net 12 times.
We all know he isn’t perfect, far from it in fact. The argument that he is not worth his place in the side at the moment is a fully justifiable one after a stuttered campaign defined by bit-part appearances. Those matches that the 24-year-old has started have often resulted in poor showings.
But to say that Leicester do not possess a goal scorer among the ranks this year is a difficult statement to comprehend if you have followed the club over the last two years. They are a rare breed and rely very much on confidence as we all know, a factor which has quite clearly been lacking from Fryatt’s game for quite some time.
Did the Sousa era really suck the life from the Kop favourite? This article from two months ago paints a similar opinion, because nothing has changed since then. But Fryatt’s potential importance to the first team remains the same, and to allow him to move on to another Championship club would be a worrying decision.
Reading have been widely tipped to make their move for the striker on a short-term loan deal in the coming week, but the deal could hinge on whether Ishmael Miller’s switch to the Walkers Stadium goes through in the coming days. But Ishmael Miller is not a natural born goal scorer.
Neither are Steve Howard, Darius Vassell or Paul Gallagher. All very good players in their own rights, but not capable of finding the net on a regular basis throughout the course of a season.
Martyn Waghorn has endured a difficult season since his big-money move from Sunderland in the summer, but is still undoubtedly one of the finest young players the Championship has to offer. On his day he is more than capable of leading the Leicester line, a role in which he flourished in City’s recent victory at Barnsley.
Eriksson has options in abundance going forward, but whether or not he chooses to use Fryatt in the coming weeks should become apparent soon enough. One thing is clear though, and that is that Fryatt will never regain the confidence which saw him gain cult status very quickly if he isn’t given the opportunity to prove himself.
There is no need for panic after another dominant performance, but goals have been lacking all season. Losing Fryatt to another club would be criminal.
Forlorn Fryatt waits on as strikers flap
“We need a goalscorer.”