Leicester City seek new striker to bolster their promotion challenge, but who is available?
Despite spending millions of Thai money in the transfer market already this season, and signing in effect an entire new team for the 2011/12 campaign, Leicester City are struggling to find the target so far this term, with just one solitary headed goal by right back Lee Peltier all they have to show for their efforts after the opening two games of the season. Drawing a blank at home to Reading last time out, the City faithful took note that they looked lacklustre up front, with David Nugent leading the line for the foxes and only having the singular effort which struck Adam Federici's post to offer the team. Everyone around the club, players, supporters, and staff collectively agreed that scoring goals was the weak spot in the team, evidently so even after just two league games. Despite having all the financial muscle at their disposal, City have only managed to sign Nugent in the close season to add to the strikers they already had on the books, including Martyn Waghorn and Steve Howard.
But it's not for the want of trying that Leicester haven't secured that '20-goal-a-season' man that Sven-Goran Eriksson so dearly desires to complete his squad for their potential promotion charge into the promise land. So far, City have made concrete offers for Shane Long, Ishmael Miller, Jermaine Beckford, and several offers for Bristol City's Nicky Maynard, who coincidently will line-up against Leicester tomorrow night to show Eriksson's boys exactly what they were bidding for, all of which have been rejected or have broken down in some form. This just shows that Leicester cannot just rely solely on their financial power to swoop for potential signings, and the influence of Mr. Eriksson must prove to be a bigger factor to players who have more than one offer on the table, such as Shane Long who moved to West Brom for the chance to ply his trade in the Premier League, which he snatched at by scoring on his debut against the champions Man United on Sunday afternoon live on Sky Sports, even though City would have offered him higher wages and better potential within the club. Miller and Matt Derbyshire also had the opportunity to join Sven's revolution, but once more chose to move elsewhere, just across the Midlands to arch rivals Nottingham Forest, to join forces with Steve McClaren who has also found it difficult for his side to find the onion bag so far this campaign, with zero shots on target in their opening two league matches, a worrying sign.
Other possibilities of strikers have ran through the rumour mill, which have gone from the sublime to the ridiculous, such as Yakubu, who was on loan to the foxes last season from Everton, who incidentally has also been linked with a re-union with former boss Steve McClaren at Forest. Other rumours have come from the Merseyside club with Victor Anichebe, and also Andy Johnson at Fulham. Adam Le Fondre from Rotherham is a proven goal-scorer in the lower divisions and impressed Eriksson when City played the millers last week in the Carling Cup, but hasn't shown his worth at a higher level thus far in his career and would be a gamble for City. Robbie Keane, Jay Bothroyd, and Michael Chopra all had the chance to join the Sven Revolution but chose to move elsewhere. Emile Heskey has hometown ties with City but also turned down the opportunity to team up with his former England boss Eriksson, as did Danny Haynes, Jason Roberts, Ched Evans, Cameron Jerome, and Nile Ranger. Nicolas Anelka and the top scorer in Champions League football of all-time Raul have come at the more ridiculous end of the spectrum in the hunt for a goalscorer at the club.
However, the possibility of Yakubu, Beckford, and Santa Cruz are all still cards on the table from Leicester, and with the money at their disposal and the incentive of playing for a club with a big fan base, top-notch facilities and a world-renowned manager, could still give Leicester City the opportunity of making some fine deals before the transfer window closes on August 31st. But what would that do to the confidence and availability of the strikers at the club? Steve Howard and Martyn Waghorn have been heavily rumoured to be moving on to pastures new, with Sheffield Wednesday and Southampton being the respective front-runners to capture the signings of the out-of-favour foxes men. And a new centre forward being brought into the club would damage the confidence of David Nugent who knows it would be a struggle to retain his place as Sven prefers to only play with one up top, and with new football league regulations stating only five substitutes can be named for a match, Leicester's squad has the depth to keep players out of the squad altogether.
So, will Leicester's Thai owners delve deep into their pockets once more to find that coup transfer and complete the Sven-Goran Eriksson spending? Or will they have to stick to what they have and hope the strikers within the club start to find some form soon? Only time will tell, they have two weeks in which to do it, let us all see what happens. One thing is for certain, we haven't heard the last from Leicester City in this transfer window.