The new television deal will lead to some crazy transfer fees from this summer onwards and perhaps the first will be Troy Deeney’s possible move to Leicester City. Reports suggest that the champions may be willing to pay up to £30m for the striker, with an offer of £25m already rejected. The is a ludicrous sum for a player with one season of Premier League football under his belt and one that hasn’t even been capped at international level. Many believed that the television deal would increase the quality in the league, which it may do, but it will also create a league where the smaller clubs can afford to over-charge for their key players, as the need to sell is much reduced.
Leicester City were excellent last year and their approach to this transfer market has very much been the same as it has been for years previous. They are looking to increase the depth in the squad, as would be expected given the demands of European football. However, they aren’t looking to add big names to their squad, instead targeting hungry players, who fit well into their already established system. They could have gone all out for an Alexandre Lacazette or Alvaro Morata to announce themselves on the European stage, but they are instead going all out for Troy Deeney, why is that?
Firstly, he isn’t going to come into the squad and disrupt the incredible team spirit, which helped them go on the brilliant run of form to capture the league title. Also he fits in well with their tactical system, as he liked to play as a withdrawn forward, dropping deeper to play between the lines. This will allow Jamie Vardy to play on the last defender and make the dangerous runs in behind. Moreover, Deeney is a very good passer and showed time and time again that he could play defence-splitting through balls to get Odion Ighalo in on goal. He would likely strike up a similar partnership with Jamie Vardy.
Leicester can’t afford to go into next season with the same rigid tactics as they had in the Premier League. They may have changed it slightly from match-to-match, but in the Champions League, they will need to be a lot more tactically flexible. The impending signing of Nampalys Mendy may appear to be a replacement for Ngolo Kante on the face of it, but it could be Leicester preparing to play a possible 4-3-3 against the bigger sides, and packing the midfield with tireless workers. If such a formation is on the agenda for Claudio Ranieri, then surely the opportunity to use Troy Deeney as a deep-lying forward is a very good option. He would drop deeper and allow runners from midfield to get into the box on the counter attack. This is another reason why the signing of the Watford forward could be a good move.
The squad-building process at a football club is sometimes overlooked and supporters demand big name signings, and some Leicester fans will have wanted their club to bring in some Champions League quality players. However, it appears they are sticking closely to their blueprint of building a hard-working side that is greater than the sum of its parts. Also they will acknowledge that they are unlikely to remain a Champions League club for the next few years, therefore filling the squad with highly-paid players, who expect Champions League football could do more damage than good in the long run.
This summer was always going to be an interesting one in regards to Leicester City. Their big-money chase of Troy Deeney may appear curious at first look, but it makes a lot of sense considering their transfer strategy and the type of football they play. He would fit in seamlessly and could form a deadly partnership with Jamie Vardy. He would also be willing to remain at the club if they don’t get European football again next season. The transfer fee being talked about is absurd, but in the new age of the television deal, transfer fees need to be disregarded. Troy Deeney would improve the Leicester City first eleven, and that is more important than the transfer fee.