Most clubs have something they’re really good at – Manchester United are good at overpaying for players, Newcastle are good at being funny, Arsenal are good at, erm...anyway, Leicester are very good at buying footballers.
The Foxes have become the kings of the transfer market in recent years with the club’s scouting network unearthing some hidden gems. Even the majority of the players who’ve commanded an eye-watering fee have gone on to represent quality business.
This summer Brendan Rodgers has looked to delve into the transfer market with the aim of bolstering his defensive options – an area of the squad clearly in need of attention following their end-of-season collapse once Çağlar Söyüncü was ruled out through suspension.
James Tarkowski has emerged as the number one target, and while he would represent a solid purchase, the Foxes’ hell-bent pursuit of the Burnley man is in danger of spiralling out of control.
The Clarets have insisted since news of Leicester’s interest in Tarkowski emerged that they won't be willing to let their centre-back leave the club for less than £50m.
Now, say what you like of Sean Dyche (and if you type his name into Twitter you’ll soon realise most people do) he’s no soft touch, and the club’s decision to allow Ben Gibson to join Norwich on loan will only have solidified their stance on Tarkowski’s worth.
This hasn’t stopped Leicester pushing and probing with numerous bids under the asking price, yet, no matter how many times they’re rebuffed, the Foxes continue to chase the England international with their bids slowly increasing each time if reports are to be believed.
In the past, the Leicester who've become kings of the transfer market would have walked away by this point, with plenty of time to spare in the transfer window as they looked to focus on their next target (before plucking the next Franz Beckenbauer from the French third division). However, Rodgers seems insistent on getting his man, and that represents a huge risk.
Rewind a little over 12 months. Manchester United are desperate for defensive reinforcements and Leicester’s Harry Maguire is pinpointed as the man to solve their problems.
The saga drags on throughout the summer with the Foxes continuing to reject the Red Devils’ advances. Do United learn their lesson and look elsewhere? Of course they don’t, they foolishly chase Maguire like a dog chasing its tail, eventually being forced to spend ridiculously over the odds with time running out and desperation beginning to grow.
It seems odd that Leicester have first-hand experience of this sort of pursuit and yet little over a year later they’re in danger of falling into exactly the same trap as United.
Tarkowski’s qualities are undeniable, but he plays in a solid setup which is designed to bring the best out of no-nonsense defenders. He’s not particularly uncomfortable with the ball at his feet, but he’s far from the cultured ball-playing defender you’d envisage Rodgers to be looking for.
Perhaps this narrow-minded approach is the product of Leicester suddenly being recognised as a top-six team who think they’ve got the right to ransack ‘smaller’ clubs of their best talents. However, this isn’t the Foxes who’ve ruled the market in recent years and they need to get back to doing what they do best.
Source : 90min