Fabrizio Romano has tweeted that the Foxes have approached Barca, who are desperate to raise funds to sign new players and will need to move on a number players this summer, with an offer of a two year loan with an obligation to buy for £50million on completion of the loan.
On the face of it, it would be strange for Barcelona to let Trincao go before he even plays a game for them, but Romano rarely reports things that don’t have some basis. The Catalans have a monumental wage bill and might take any opportunity to trim it, especially if it guarantees a large influx of cash two years from now when the task of replacing Lionel Messi will be at the forefront of their thinking.
Trincao was an opportunistic signing in January, and with the presence of Messi, Suarez, Griezmann, Fati and the immovable Ousmane Dembele, it is hard to see where the Portuguese wideman would get regular game time for them next season.
Looking at the potential deal from Leicester’s side of things, it makes all the sense in the world. He’s exactly what they’re lacking in attacking areas right now. A creative dribbler who can bring more goals and assists to what should be one of the best attacking units in the league.
At just 20 years of age, he’s also in the same bracket as the rest of Leicester’s excellent midfield. Youri Tielemans, Wilf Ndidi and James Maddison are 23, Harvey Barnes is 22. Trincao would complete a five man midfield that, if kept together, has the talent and potential to become the best in the Premier League. They all offer different things, and Trincao can make it an even more diverse midfield unit which will create chances galore for Jamie Vardy, Ayoze Perez or whomever is playing upfront in a particular game.
Brendan Rodgers’ preferred set-up seems to be 4-1-4-1 and in looking at the current “strongest” Leicester 11, Trincao fills one of the spots that could be marked as a short term priority: the right wing. Leicester have options for that position right now, but none of them are ideal. Ayoze Perez does a job there but he’s much more comfortable playing upfront. Marc Albrighton and Demarai Gray are pacy, natural wingers but Albrighton is on the downside of his career and Gray is too inconsistent to be relied on. Both are good squad players, but neither are of the quality required for a team that seems to have real Top 4 ambitions.
Leicester have built a tremendous young team with multiple players throughout the team ranking among the very best in the league in their positions. The midfielders above are all excellent and under 25. Caglar Soyuncu is one of the best central defenders in the league and is 24. Ben Chilwell is an elite left-back and is 23. Ricardo Pereira is the oldest of the elite core group, but even he is only 26.
Trincao fits with that group from an age and talent perspective. He’s coming off a breakout year where he scored 9 goals and had 13 assists in 40 games (27 starts), he shows the type of potential that could see him become a 10 goals, 15 assist winger who could help Leicester improve next season.
Left footed, his primary position is the right wing. His preference is to drift infield and create chances for others while also working shooting positions for himself. That fits perfectly with Ricardo as an overlapping right back who has become one of the best in Europe since moving to the Midlands. His stand out skills are his dribbling and creative passes. He has a unique ability to progress the ball, and he loves to operate in the half space, on the half turn.
He shows fantastic balance and quick feet, and uses a wide array of tricks and body swerves to beat defenders. He would add a new dimension to this Leicester team and fill one of their short term needs. This video shows why Barcelona were so keen to buy him and why Leicester should jump at the chance to steal him.
On loan with an obligation to buy, it strikes me as a no-brainer. Leicester fans should be excited if this move comes off.