Why Sven’s newest signings have the opportunity to become instant hits at the Walkers Stadium?
After a relatively quiet summer up until last week, Leicester City made three signings in quick succession – capturing Lee Peltier from Huddersfield Town, Crystal Palace midfielder Neil Danns and former Leeds and Notts County goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel. The Foxes have also been linked with numerous other players including Nicky Maynard, David Nugent, Craig Mackail-Smith and Sean St. Ledger.
It might be that the previous lack of activity could relate to (unsuccessful) attempts to bring some of last year’s loan signings back to the Walkers Stadium next season. But regardless of that, Sven-Goran Eriksson might be right on the money with the new players.
At the very least, the majority of Foxes supporters will be happy.
It is no secret that Leicester City relied heavily on loan players during the second half of last season. Some became instant hits with the fans, others did not. But on the whole, those loan players improved the starting line up and were effective – irrespective of whether they were liked or disliked. A case could also be made for every single one of those players as to why Eriksson should attempt to bring them back next season.
Because of the timing of Eriksson’s arrival last year, there was little opportunity for him to make permanent signings. Whilst the loan signings generally did, at the very least, a decent job during their time with the club, their addition somewhat painted over the cracks of the real problem – which was that Eriksson was not entirely happy with his overall squad. And when they left at the end of the season, it was clear that there were several positions which needed to be filled.
Because Peltier, Schmeichel and even Danns are all relatively young players who have risen through the lower leagues, they are all still learning their trade. Whilst Danns also offers Championship experience, all three signings will be keen to prove that their best is still yet to come. For these players, it is not necessarily about the money. It is debatable whether last season’s loan signings – especially those who have had a taste of the Premier League – would offer such enthusiasm and determination.
Even the apparently targeted signings are in the same vein as those already drafted in to the club. The likes of Nicky Maynard and Craig Mackail-Smith both have fantastic scoring records, but also still have a lot to learn and a lot to prove. Their best is yet to come, and that is exciting for the manager and fans alike. Even if the end result is exactly the same, the majority of Leicester City supporters will appreciate the effort from these new players, whilst it might have simply been expected from the likes of Yakubu or Diomansy Kamara. This is not a criticism of those players; however, Yakubu could have scored 30 goals a season in the Championship and a large number of Leicester fans would still have been disgruntled with his style of play – in spite of such a record.
Foxes supporters, like the majority of football fans, have demonstrated a tendency to warm to players who give 100 percent in every game. That is why players such as Martyn Waghorn and Richie Wellens have become fan favourites. A good goal scoring record like Yakubu’s during the latter part of last season seems impressive on paper, and also provides a means to an end – but supporters, generally, would rather see a player’s desire and zealousness towards establishing themselves within the team and towards reaching its ambitions, rather than any one particular individual milestone or achievement. Peltier, Danns and Schmeichel all have the potential to become this type of player, which makes them a good fit at Leicester City. They also all have the potential to play at the highest level – which is where this club wants to be.
The next few weeks should bring about more new activity at the Walkers Stadium. More of the same would be very popular amongst the Blue Army faithful.