Is there really any reason for fans to be worried about the lack of transfer activity at Leicester City?
Despite missing out on the playoffs at the end of last season, Leicester fans left the Walkers Stadium with a level of optimism about a potentially very busy summer of ins and outs, with speculation over whether certain loan signings would make the switch to the Midlands or who Sven-Goran Eriksson would have his eye on bringing to the club over the next few months. Fast forward to the middle of June, and, despite all the transfer talk and predictions, Leicester are yet to make a permanent signing since the transfer window opened. So should supporters be worried?
Well, no. In fact, this is probably the smartest course of action to take.
The majority of fans would have, by now, expected some transfer activity, based on the fact that Eriksson made a number of strong loan signings during his first season in charge, and also because it is no secret that the takeover of Leicester City in 2010 by Asia Football Investments put the club in a far stronger financial position than ever before. Other clubs will also be aware of this, and thus it is important that the former England manager does not show his hand too early at the risk of being offered inflated valuations of potential targets by other managers. While it is true that there are a number of big name free agents available this summer, it is unlikely that club funds will be spent wildly on such players just because such funds exist.
Also, a lack of transfer activity does not necessarily mean that the Foxes are not in contact with other clubs or players. In fact, it is quite likely that Leicester City have held talks with possible targets and their agents, but many players` contracts do not expire until the end of June and said players may simply be weighing up their options for the future. Many of the loan signings came as somewhat of a surprise to supporters, so the same could apply when making permanent deals with other clubs. There is always more to it than meets the eye in these situations.
Besides, Leicester City appear to be prioritising its restructuring of backroom staff before making any on-the-field changes. Just last week, Susan Whelan was announced as the new CEO of the club, while Simon Capper took the role of Finance Director. Further managerial changes were made yesterday with the appointment of Commercial Director Laura Oakes and Kevin Barclay being promoted to Operations Director. Albeit less exciting for fans, these changes are as important as signing the next big name Premier League star so that there is a wealth of knowledge and experience behind the running of this football club.
Finally, despite the fact that Leicester did rely heavily on loan signings last season – particularly towards the latter stages – Eriksson will be aware that he has a very strong core of players already at the club. Paul Gallagher, Richie Wellens, Andy King, Yuki Abe and Darius Vassell were all regular starters for Leicester City in the last campaign and are more than likely to feature in the starting line up next season. Franck Moussa and Matt Oakley have also been offered new contracts, and centre back Sol Bamba offered a strong presence in defence since joining the Foxes. There are defensive issues which do need addressing, and potentially one or two strikers will be drafted in, but only if they fit the style of football which Eriksson has adopted and put into practice since his arrival at the Walkers Stadium. He will be aware of how much time he has to make transfers, and is unlikely to panic-buy.
So, Leicester fans – do not be worried. Your club is in good hands. Sit back, enjoy the summer and wait for the transfers to take place. By Saturday 6th August, there will be new faces.