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14 goals, 9 assists – Leicester beating Liverpool to sign this left-footed hitman would enable Rodgers to build a new-look attack

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Leicester City Opinion: Hakim Ziyech can transform Leicester into a formidable force

According to Bleacher Report, Liverpool are keeping close tabs on Ajax playmaker Hakim Ziyech, with Leicester City also keen on bringing the Moroccan international to the  Premier League in the summer.

Ziyech has been in exhilarating form for Ajax in the Eredivisie this term, registering 14 goals and 9 assists from 20 appearances. The 25-year-old has also been one of the driving forces behind Ajax’s march to the quarterfinals of the Champions League this term, scoring in the famous 4-1 victory over Real Madrid at the Bernabeu.

A man no stranger to European competitions, the Moroccan proved once again that he is capable of delivering the goods against top-quality opposition at the biggest stage of it all.

The former Heerenveen and FC Twente star has a wonderful record for Ajax, having accumulated 37 goals and 52 assists from 116 appearances across all competitions.

The left-footed creative ace is currently one of the most underrated playmakers in Europe and a move to the Premier League would certainly be the next big step in his career.

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Taking his creativity and versatility into account, he would be an excellent signing for any of the top teams in the Premier League. While signing Ziyech would provide Liverpool with a player in the mould of Philippe Coutinho, the Moroccan can be a marquee signing for Leicester City as well, with the Foxes yet to find an ideal replacement for Riyad Mahrez.

To put things into perspective, Leicester City can bag a massive coup by beating Liverpool to the signature of the immensely talented creative maestro next summer. The Foxes have lost most of their stars from the 2015-16 Premier League winning campaign to the bigger clubs and a player like Ziyech, who is just 25, can help them build a strong foundation for the years to come.

Predominantly a left-footed attacking midfielder by trade, Ziyech is capable of playing out wide on either flank and through the centre in a No.10 role. The Moroccan is renowned for his passing, vision, creativity, quick feet, crossing and sharpness and agility on the ball, whilst also possessing the tactical awareness to exploit the half-spaces and make subtle runs into the box.

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A technically-gifted attacker oozing with finesse and elegance, Ziyech not only has the ability to produce defence-splitting through balls but he is a wonderful distance-shooter as well. Furthermore, his magical left foot can create plenty of chances from set-pieces and dead ball situations.

The Foxes signed Rachid Ghezzal from Monaco last summer as a like-for-like replacement for Mahrez but he hasn’t been able to live up to the expectations in the Premier League. Ziyech, on the other hand, is a much more complete player who can torment the opposition with his technical brilliance and quality on the ball. Undoubtedly, he seems more like the real deal for Brendan Rodgers and Leicester City.

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With the likes of James Maddison and Harvey Barnes already in their ranks, Leicester have some top-notch creative talent filled with youthful exuberance, and the acquisition of Hakim Ziyech will surely transform them into real contenders for a Europa League spot next season. And the Foxes can bag a double coup if they manage to sign Youri Tielemans permanently.

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Leicester City

Leicester reigniting interest in this 25-year-old goal machine would provide Rodgers with ideal backup for Vardy

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Leicester City Opinion: Why the Foxes should go all out to sign Roger Assale

Back in April last year, a report from the Daily Mail claimed Leicester City were tracking Young Boys striker Roger Assale ahead of a summer transfer. However, a move never materialised and the Ivorian stayed with Young Boys.

Roger Assale, 25, scored 21 goals and provided 14 assists in 49 games as Young Boys won the title last season. However, his productivity has declined this campaign as the Ivory Coast international has only scored seven goals and supplied six assists in 23 games thus far.

Regardless of his drop in numbers, Leicester City should reignite their interest in Assale and sign him this summer.

The Foxes have an exciting attacking unit, filled with young talents like James Maddison, Demarai Gray and Harvey Barnes. But the club needs a bonafide goal-scorer to replace the ageing Jamie Vardy, who has been a brilliant servant at the King Power Stadium.

Vardy has scored 12 goals this season, racking up a century of goals in the blue jersey of Leicester and already flourishing under new manager, Brendan Rodgers. Yet, Rodgers should plot a replacement for the former England international, who turned 32 earlier in January.

The Foxes need goals and without Vardy they struggle, with Kelechi Iheanacho not living up to the expectations since moving from Manchester City in 2017. Shinji Okazaki will turn 33 next month and may leave the club after his contract expires at the end of this season.

That makes signing a centre-forward so important for the Foxes and Rodgers should plot a summer swoop for Roger Assale.

The Ivorian is the type of player Leicester City desperately is in need of. Assale is not just a fine dribbler; he also happens to be a nippy, technically-gifted and powerful forward with a superb eye for goal. He keeps the ability to race past his opponent in a blink of an eye and score a goal, that’s how quick and decisive he is in the final third.

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The 25-year-old is lethal inside the box, has decent pace and knows how to generate space in the attacking third of the pitch. He will enter his prime in the next year or so and will be a fantastic signing for a team like Leicester.

Verdict

The acquisition of Assale would undoubtedly bolster the Foxes’ attacking options at the King Power Stadium. Rodgers and the Leicester board should do everything in their power to bring the diminutive Ivorian to the Midlands in the summer as the striker could give Leicester City a boost in challenging the Big Six next season.

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Leicester City

These 3 strikers would be perfect to replace Jamie Vardy at Leicester – including this 16-goal star

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Leicester City Opinions: 3 realistic successors to Jamie Vardy at Leicester

Leicester City are a club that somehow managed to achieve what was considered to be impossible in the modern era in the presence of monstrous teams like Liverpool, Manchester United and Manchester City

They won the Premier League against all the odds and looked like they should be champions-elect right from the first fixture of the season.

With sheer hard work and passion for the cause from the men in blue, Claudio Ranieri had got something going at the King Power Stadium.

With some excellent work in midfield from Danny Drinkwater and World Cup winner N’Golo Kante, who are both Chelsea players now, they were able to dominate even teams from the top-6 and thereby hold top spot right until the final day of the season.

The main factor in that season were the crucial goals and most of them were delivered by English forward Jamie Vardy.

The man who rose from playing Sunday league football to the Premier League level in the blink of an eye, Vardy’s exploits for the Foxes that season are part of history.

His goals have kept the Foxes fans going through difficult times after that as well and despite his ripe age of 32, he still delivers on a consistent basis and works his socks off each and every time he steps on the football pitch.

While he is a club legend, at 32, the need to look for alternative is high and this summer could be the perfect time. Here are three players who can readily replace the talismanic forward:

Jean-Pierre Nsame

The Cameroonian international forward has become a key player for BSC Young Boys since making the switch from Servette for a meagre sum of under a full million.

The 25-year-old has been in good league form and has picked up 8 goals from his 20 games this term. Tall and well-built, his size certainly doesn’t deter with him mobility and using his long strides, he puts himself about on the pitch and that could just what Leicester need.

Oliver McBurnie

The young Scottish international forward has been brilliant up-front for Swansea City this season and he is the club’s top scorer as well. With 16 goals and 4 assists from his 33 appearances, his efficiency certainly doesn’t need to be questioned.

Still only 22, he has the right attributes to make a name for himself in the English game and his movement and positioning in the box will suit the talented midfielders in the Foxes ranks and that’s why this move is assured to be a hit.

Sam Lammers

The Dutch youth international is a very highly rated PSV academy product who is currently employed by fellow Eredivisie club Heerenveen for who he has scored 14 times this season from 23 appearances.

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With 5 assists to his name as well, at just 21, he has the perfect opportunity to announce himself by making the switch to King Power where he would be able to sit in perfectly given his attacking and finishing capabilities.

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Forget Man United: This 23-year-old midfield ace would work wonders by joining any of these 3 PL sides on loan instead

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Man United Opinion: 3 loan destinations for Andreas Pereira

According to the Sun, Man United are considered shipping Andreas Pereira out on loan for the whole of next season to allow him to get more regular first-team football.

United triggered a 12-renewal option in Pereira’s contract, with the 23-year-old midfielder set to be out of contract in the summer, and manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants the Brazilian to put pen to paper on a new four-year deal. (h/t Sun)

The Sun also reports that Pereira is held in very regard by the United hierarchy and they are hopeful that a loan spell in another Premier League club will help him make the grade at Old Trafford.

Leicester City are also keen on bringing Pereira to the King Power Stadium, with Brendan Rodgers reportedly a long-term admirer of the Brazilian. (h/t Sun)

Pereira has enjoyed more first-team involvement under Solskjaer, with the Brazilian scoring a stunner in United’s 3-2 victory over Southampton and starting in the incredible 3-1 victory over PSG in the Champions League.

A loan move will definitely give him more exposure, and here are 3 possible loan destinations for the creative ace.

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1. Leicester City

A loan spell under Brendan Rodgers might help him take his game to the next level. The Foxes have enjoyed a bright start to life under Rodgers but they need to sort out issues relating to lack of creativity in the midfield if they are to challenge for a European spot next season.

Youri Tielemans have certainly added more cutting edge to Leicester’s midfield but the Foxes will need to smash their club-record fee in the summer to acquire the Belgian’s services permanently.

James Maddison has made a massive impact this season while Harvey Barnes has shown signs of promise after returning from his loan spell at West Brom.

With his ability to play anywhere in attacking midfield, Pereira’s presence will certainly be a boost to Rodgers’ team dynamics and squad depth, and the Brazilian is more than capable of competing with likes of Maddison, Barnes, Ghezzal and others for a spot in the team.

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2. Bournemouth

Bournemouth have had a season full of promise under Eddie Howe in the Premier League this term and a creative midfielder like Andreas Pereira would be a potentially good signing for the Cherries in the summer, as they look to post a better challenge for a Europa League qualification spot next season.

Youngsters like David Brooks and Nathan Ake have taken their football to a new level at the Vitality Stadium and Pereira has every chance of being the next one to do so.

The Brazilian has the ability to play as an attacking midfielder behind the striker and in a withdrawn central role in the middle, whilst also possessing the versatility to play out wide on the left.

His versatility will give him a good chance of not only proving himself as an upgrade on Brooks, Junior Stanislas and Jordon Ibe but will also help him push the likes of Dan Gosling, Andrew Surman and Lewis Cook for a place in the side.

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3. Crystal Palace

Ruben Loftus-Cheek enjoyed a fruitful loan spell at Selhurst Park last season and United should be drawn to the idea of allowing Pereira to further his development under the tutelage of Roy Hodgson.

The Eagles have struggled for creativity all season, with summer recruit Max Meyer failing to make much of an impact in his first season. Pereira boasts of good sharpness and flair on the ball and has the ability to move the ball around quickly in the attacking third.

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The Brazilian has a good eye for a pass and his penchant for scoring goals should give him a chance of competing with the likes of Meyer, Jeffrey Schlupp and James MacArthur for a place in the team.

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