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Who is this 19-year-old midfield prodigy being chased by West Ham and Leicester? All you need to know

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West Ham Opinion: West Ham battling Leicester City for Portuguese prodigy

According to Portuguese source Record, West Ham are interested in signing Sporting Lisbon starlet Nuno Moreira in the summer, with Leicester City also keeping tabs on the highly-rated 19-year-old.

The same report claims that Moreira is out of contract in the summer and has refused to pen a new deal due to lack of opportunities.

The Portuguese prodigy is yet to break into Sporting’s senior first-team but he has impressed in the UEFA Youth League this term, scoring once and providing a couple of assists in 7 appearances.

As the Premier League clubs come circling around like sharks to swoop for the talented midfielder, let us take a closer look at one of the brightest upcoming talents in Portugal – Sporting Lisbon’s Nuno Moreira.

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Background

Born in Lisbon, Portugal, Nuno Moreira has been at the Sporting academy ever since he was a kid. The 19-year-old, who is held in very high regard by the club hierarchy, has been on the fringes of the first-team but he is yet to make a senior competitive appearance.

He has impressed with his performances in the UEFA Youth League this term and his contract situation has set some big clubs on red alert.

Style of Play

Nuno Moreira is primarily a central attacking midfielder by trade even though he is equally comfortable playing out wide on either flank. A technically-gifted creative ace, the youngster has shown maturity that belies his tender years in terms of decision-making and tactical intelligence.

He is a very mobile player who always shows great levels of stamina and enthusiasm to cover a lot of distance. Nuno likes to have the ball at his feet and he certainly has the quality to make things happen.

Besides possessing obvious quality on the ball, Moreira can also cause problems for the opposition with his movement off the ball to get into dangerous positions. A player with a wonderful understanding of the game, he not only has an excellent eye for a pass but he also likes to shift positions constantly to link up with his teammates.

Sporting CP Nuno Moreira in action during the UEFA Youth League match between Sporting CP and Olympiakos Piraeus at CGD Stadium Aurelio Pereira on November 22, 2017 in Alcochete, Portugal.

Moreira has the skill and the technical ability to move the ball quickly in the attacking third, whilst also drifting wide at times to draw the defenders out of their positions.

He often drops deep to pick up the ball and combines his nimble footwork with his ability to make sharp turns to create his own space in the middle of the park. It is important to mention here that Nuno is capable of using both feet to good effect, which helps him control the ball very well in tight situations.

To go along with his vision, sharpness, agility and creativity, the 19-year-old also has a good eye for goal from all ranges, putting his foot through the ball to make use of the slightest of opportunities.

What does the future hold?

Nuno Moreira is certainly one of the brightest upcoming talents in Portugal and has already attracted interest from clubs like West Ham and Leicester. However, his his inability to break into the first-team at Sporting might be seen as a red flag in his development curve.

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Even if a move to the Premier League materialises, Nuno won’t be catapulted straight into the first-team at West Ham or Leicester. He will need time to adapt to the highly competitive and physical nature of English football but given his potential, the Portuguese starlet can make a name for himself in the Premier League in the years to come.

West Ham raided Benfica to sign Xande Silva last season and the youngster has already broken into the first-team at east London. If things go right for Nuno Moreira, one can expect him to follow the same path.

Leicester City

Leicester City would go a long way towards realizing European dreams by signing this electrifying 21-year-old

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Leicester City Opinion: Signing Sarr will strengthen the Foxes

According to a recent report by Daily Mail, Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester City side are said to be very interested in bringing Ligue 1 club Stade Rennais’ Senegalese international left-winger Ismaila Sarr to the midlands as they look to push for a European spot in the coming Premier League season.

While the report has suggested that Unai Emery’s Arsenal are also quite keen on the youngster, it would make a lot more sense for the rather untested Senegalese winger to test the waters before plunging into the deep-end.

While a move to Arsenal would certainly be tempting, he should pick Leicester in the best interest of his career. 

The Emirates isn’t the kind of place where a new player usually makes an immediate impact. The fact that time certainly wouldn’t be his friend if he chooses West-London should be enough to lure him into joining the Foxes. The King Power Stadium could turn out to be the perfect hunting ground for a player of his calibre. 

Leicester City are one of England’s most famous football clubs now and this is largely down to their rather unexpected league title win a few years ago. Since then, Jamie Vardy has been handed the responsibility of being the Foxes talisman upfront and his goals have been integral to al the progress the club has made since then.

Even this season, Vardy scored more than 15 goals for the Foxes leading them to another comfortable top-half finish. While his goalscoring rate certainly hasn’t slowed down, the amount of service he’s been receiving hasn’t been great and the Foxes could hence use a quality winger to reinforce the ranks. 

The player being linked with a potential summer move is Rennes winger Ismaila Sarr.

The Senegalese international has been one of the Ligue 1’s standout players this season and his exploits have certainly earned him a fairly strong reputation as well. Unbelievably pacy on the ball, his movement and sharpness have been commendable and his signature is in high demand as well. 

While he’s often utilised as a left-winger, he’s capable of playing anywhere across the midfield or front-line and can even operate out of the central-striker’s role if necessary.

Although he is still only 21, he has shown immense maturity to perform as well as he has this season and this has even earned him 21 caps at such a young age. 

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With 7 goals and 7 assists to his name from 33 Ligue 1 appearances this season, he has been one of the most promising players in the entire league. Considering that he’s still only 21 and has a long way to go before becoming the complete package, a move to the Premier League could turn out to be ideal for the youngster’s future.

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Leicester City

Enough is enough – It is high time for Leicester City to part ways with this jet-heeled 23-year-old permanently

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Leicester City Opinion: Foxes should offload Fousseni Diabate permanently

According to The Sun, Leicester City winger Fousseni Diabate has expressed his desire to make his loan move to Turkish Super Lig club Sivassppir permanent at the end of the season.

The 23-year-old has admitted that there will be negotiations between the Foxes and his loan club about staying in Turkey permanently, The Sun understands.

Diabate was shipped out on loan to Turkish club Sivasspor back in the January transfer window after making only a solitary Premier League appearance for the Foxes under Claude Puel earlier in the season but the Malian has found regular minutes a lot easier to come by at his loan club.

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The 23-year-old has made a positive impact on his loan spell at Sivasspor, accumulating 2 goals and 3 assists from 15 Super Lig appearances. Diabate’s development in Turkey has seemingly convinced him that he could reach greater heights by enjoying more playtime at Sivasspor.

Claude Puel was the man who was responsible for bringing in Fousseni Diabate to the King Power Stadium from French second-tier club Ajaccio back in January 2018 for a fee of just £1.75 million. He scored twice on his Foxes’ debut against Peterborough in the FA Cup last season and managed 14 appearances in the Premier League in the second half of the 2017-18 season but he failed to make much of an impact.

The jet-heeled winger slipped down the pecking order this season and played in a couple of EFL Cup games against Fleetwood and Southampton, besides making a solitary Premier League appearance in a 1-1 draw against Fulham. He has clearly been deemed surplus to the demands at Leicester and few would rue his departure if he moves to Sivasspor on a permanent deal.

To put things into perspective, the best possible thing for Leicester City would be to cash in on the talented youngster this summer and use those funds to improve other areas of their squad. Having bought him for a thrifty amount just more than a year ago, the Foxes would probably be able to make a sizeable profit by selling the player permanently.

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Leicester already have plenty of talent in their attacking midfield department. James Maddison has evolved into one of the best playmakers in the Premier League following his move from Norwich City last summer, while academy product Harvey Barnes has also made a positive impact since returning from his loan spell at West Brom.

Demarai Gray continues to be a fine young talent with plenty of potential, while the Foxes also have the likes of Marcus Albrighton and Rachid Ghezzal in the mix.

The Foxes enjoyed an incredible upturn of form following the arrival of Brendan Rodgers from Celtic in the latter stages of the season and they need to bolster their ranks even further to fulfil their European ambitions. The signing of on-loan star Youri Tielemans on a permanent deal would definitely add a lot more variety to Leicester’s midfield and the Foxes just cannot afford to let the Belgian leave after such a wonderful loan spell.

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Fousseni Diabate is unlikely to play any kind of a significant role at Leicester next season, owing to the abundance of talent currently in the ranks at the club. His success in Turkey hardly guarantees the same in the Premier League, and given that the player is still in his developmental phase, lack of regular minutes is only going to stall his progress.

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He has enjoyed a lot more first-team action at Sivasspor with reasonable success and offloading him permanently would be in the best interests of all parties involved.

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Leicester City

European dreams calling? Here is why Leicester City cannot afford to miss out on signing this 26-year-old wing beast

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Leicester City Opinion: Why the Foxes must go for Stephan El Shaarawy?

According to a report from Tuttomercatoweb, Leicester City are interested in AS Roma star Stephan El Shaarawy but they’ll face competition from West Ham.

Stephan El Shaarawy, 26, has enjoyed a solid season with AS Roma, scoring 11 goals and providing three assists in 26 Serie A games. However, the Italy international is out of contract at the Stadio Olimpico in the summer of 2020.

If the 26-year-old winger doesn’t commit his future in the Italian capital, Roma could be forced to cash in on him this summer. His availability on a knockdown price should make him a tempting prospect for the clubs across Europe, and Leicester City must do everything possible to bag his signature.

Leicester have enjoyed an upturn in fortunes since the appointment of Brendan Rodgers in March. The Foxes ended the season ninth on the table, which isn’t a big achievement considering the quality the club has.

Breaking into the top-six next season has to be Rodgers’ priority and the Irishman needs to get the basics right to bridge the gap. Given Leicester already have a fantastic mix of youthful exuberance and experience, they need only a few additions here and there.

What has been most telling under Rodgers is the manner in which he quickly got the best out of the young attacking talents, whilst making Jamie Vardy firing again. In James Maddison, Demarai Gray, Harvey Barnes and Kelechi Iheanacho, the Midlands outfit are an exciting team going forward. Add a player with the quality and experience of El Shaarawy and the Foxes will have a devastating attack next term.

El Shaarawy is a very talented winger, noted for his creativity, skill and goalscoring ability. The 26-year-old can create chances and score goals in equal measure, and he will be able to make an instant impact at the King Power Stadium. He has excellent technical qualities, capable of spotting a runner as well as coming up with worldies.

The ex-AC Milan star primarily plays as a left-winger, a position which allows him to cut into the centre onto his stronger right foot and either go for a pop at goal or create chances for teammates. He has problems with his fitness, though, managing just 26 Serie A appearances this season.

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But on the whole, the technically-gifted El Shaarawy can win games single-handedly and Rodgers should go all out for the 26-year-old.

Verdict

Rodgers has an outstanding squad at his disposal and El Shaarawy would fit right in with the expansive, exciting brand of football Leicester now play.

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