Leicester City transfer windows rated ahead of busiest summer under Enzo Maresca

Leicester City transfer windows rated ahead of busiest summer under Enzo Maresca

While nobody is through the door at the King Power Stadium yet, plenty are expected to arrive before the end of August. This could be City’s biggest summer of business in years.

They have already lost a host of players and more will be sold over the coming weeks so that a transfer budget can be built up. Once that kitty looks healthy, City will start to spend themselves, hopefully giving Enzo Maresca a squad that can get them straight back into the Premier League.

Ahead of the anticipated arrivals, we have been looking back over City’s last 10 years of business, reflecting on where it went well for them, and where it didn’t. There have been some solid years of business where a host of key players have arrived, but there have been a couple of seasons where the transfers have been poor, and been damaging to the club’s success that year, showing how important it is to get deals right.

Now City are in the Championship, what sort of signings do you want to see the club make? Would you rather they buy players already in the division, who know what it’s about? How about up-and-coming talents from Leagues One and Two? Or maybe you think they should look further afield and try to find some hidden gems in Europe? Head to the comments section to let us know your thoughts on the current transfer window, and to tell us if you agree or disagree with our ratings for transfers gone by.

1 of 10

The signing of Riyad Mahrez for around £350k is one of the best deals ever done by an English club, City picking up a superstar for pittance. That was most successful deal in a limited year of business for the club, who mainly focused on adding experience to turn themselves from play-off losers to promotion winners.

Of the older heads coming, Marcin Wasilewski was the standout pick, but Kevin Phillips chipped in with a couple of goals, while Dean Hammond and Gary Taylor-Fletcher played their part at times too. But the majority of the business that helped City to win the Championship was done in the couple of seasons prior.

Hits: Wasilewski, Mahrez, Phillips

Jury’s out: Miquel, Hammond, Taylor-Fletcher

Misses: Bakayogo

(Image: Northcliffe Media Ltd.)

2 of 10

The first summer back in the big time was City’s busiest window of the past decade, and while there were plenty of misses, there were also some huge hits. The club signed three of their title-winning heroes in Marc Albrighton, Leo Ulloa, and Danny Simpson, secured a vitally important January loan for Robert Huth, and, in a deal that still feels like a fever dream, brought in Champions League winner Esteban Cambiasso, who became City’s best-ever one-season wonder (until the following year).

There were a good number of misses, but none of them were particularly costly, bar the January signing of Andrej Kramaric. And even then, he didn’t feel like a huge miss, the Croatian the right player but at the wrong time.

Hits: Albrighton, Ulloa, Cambiasso, Simpson, Huth (loan)

Jury’s out: Schwarzer

Misses: Upson, Hamer, Lawrence, Powell (loan), Kramaric

(Image: Will Johnston)

3 of 10

The signing of N’Golo Kante for £5.6m ranks among the club’s best-ever deals, the French midfielder maybe the most vital of cogs in the still-barely-fathomable title win. Deals for more of the supporting cast in Christian Fuchs, Shinji Okazaki, and Huth potentially makes the summer of 2015 the best window since the Premier League return.

The January signings of Daniel Amartey and Demarai Gray are debatable in their success, but neither was particularly expensive, and so probably edge more towards being hits. The signing of Gokhan Inler was a big disappointment, given his pedigree.

Hits: Fuchs, Huth, Okazaki, Kante, Dyer (loan)

Jury’s out: Amartey, Gray

Misses: Benalouane, Inler

(Image: Plumb Images/Leicester City FC via Getty Images)

4 of 10

The infamous summer window of 2016 has seen its reputation improve over the past couple of years because Papy Mendy, who for so long seemed like a flop, has played a valuable role at the club in recent seasons. The January arrival of Wilfred Ndidi also massively helps the season as a whole.

But Islam Slimani and Ahmed Musa are two of City’s most high-profile bad deals, and will remain the case for many years to come. The likes of Luis Hernandez and Ron-Robert Zieler played so little it’s hard to even remember them.

Hits: Mendy, Ndidi

Jury’s out:

Misses: Zieler, Hernandez, Musa, Kapustka, Slimani, Wague (loan)

(Image: Plumb Images/Leicester City FC via Getty Images)

5 of 10

Harry Maguire did pretty well in his two seasons at the club but he’s just as much a hit for the amount of money he earned the club upon his move to Manchester United. Kelechi Iheanacho has been a slow burner, but has now proven to be worth the £25m he cost.

Given the late fax debacle, and how he struggled to get up to speed once he could finally play, Adrien Silva goes down as one of the club’s poorest signings in recent years. The other Iberian midfielder, Vicente Iborra, fared slightly better, and looked suave while doing it, so is close to being a hit.

Hits: Maguire, Iheanacho

Jury’s out: Iborra, Dragovic (loan)

Misses: Jakupovic, Silva, Diabate

(Image: Plumb Images – Leicester City FC/Getty Images)

6 of 10

The summer of 2018 is the other chief contender to be the club’s best window of recent years, with James Maddison and Ricardo Pereira becoming two of the leading players in their positions in the division, and with Jonny Evans an astute, cheap signing. Even with his struggles over the past couple of years, Caglar Soyuncu, for his one superb season, is still a hit. All that, and then the club brought in a game-changer in Youri Tielemans in the January of that campaign.

Danny Ward’s first season as number one means his success is now debated, after a solid stint as the club’s back-up. Rachid Ghezzal, the first of many attempts to replace Riyad Mahrez, was the worst deal of the window.

Hits: Evans, Maddison, Ricardo, Soyuncu, Tielemans (loan)

Jury’s out: Ward

Misses: Ghezzal, Benkovic

(Image: Plumb Images/Leicester City FC via Getty Images)

7 of 10

Given he had played only to League One level when he signed for City, James Justin has been a very good signing, while bringing Tielemans back was excellent business. Ayoze Perez and Dennis Praet have both made contributions, but perhaps not enough for the money they cost, while the loan arrival of Ryan Bennett in January did not in any way help the club in their push for the Champions League.

Hits: Justin, Tielemans

Jury’s out: Perez, Praet

Misses: Bennett (loan)

(Image: Leicester City)

8 of 10

It was a year of very few deals, but the two permanent signings were hits. Timothy Castagne has been an important recruit as a consistent performer and as a mostly-available full-back, while Wesley Fofana, despite the nature of his exit, was a brilliant bit of business given how few matches he had played. Cengiz Under, after bright early moments, disappointed.

Hits: Castagne, Fofana

Jury’s out:

Misses: Under (loan)

9 of 10

A big contender to be the worst window of recent years. Ultimately, it will come down to Patson Daka and Boubakary Soumare and if their careers ever take off at the club. Daka has made contributions already and with a bit of honing, can still be a hit.

But those hopes aren’t there for Ryan Bertrand and Jannik Vestergaard, neither who fit the club’s usual transfer approach and neither who have any valuable contributions. The best deal was the loan of Ademola Lookman, who then could not return permanently because of the money spent on the others.

Hits: Lookman (loan)

Jury’s out: Daka, Soumare

Misses: Bertrand, Vestergaard

(Image: LCFC)

10 of 10

No definitive score can yet be applied to City’s most recent year of business. Wout Faes, Harry Souttar, and Victor Kristiansen have shown promise, but also weaknesses. However, they should have plenty more time to make themselves hits.

Where a judgement can be made is with Tete. After that electric debut, it all fell apart for the Brazilian. While he is clearly talented, he will be remembered as a flop at City, if only because of how quickly the excitement levels raised and then fell.


Jury’s out: Smithies, Faes, Kristiansen, Souttar

Misses: Tete

See also  'Shy' £52m star misunderstood Klopp's tactics due to lack of effort to learn English
  • June 25, 2023