Why Leicester City should keep hold of Dennis Praet amidst interest
The 26-year-old only made his move to the King Power stadium for a fee of £18m from Sampdoria last summer, but has now been linked with a return to Italy.
Praet has been touted for a reunion with former Sampdoria boss Marco Giampaolo, who is currently in charge of Torino, after struggling to establish himself as a regular starter in his debut season in East Midlands.
Born in Leuven, Dennis Praet spent time at Genk and Anderlecht at the youth level before turning professional with the latter back in 2011. The central midfielder went on to accumulate 182 appearances for Anderlecht over the course of five seasons, registering 27 goals and 39 assists in the process.
The 26-year-old completed a move to Sampdoria back in the summer of 2016 and spent three seasons in the Italian top-flight, clocking up over 100 appearances before switching boats to join Leicester City last summer.
Praet endured a mixed debut season at the King Power stadium, with Brendan Rodgers largely using the midfielder as an understudy to his Belgian compatriot Youri Tielemans. He managed 35 appearances for the Foxes in all competitions last season, scoring once and assisting thrice.
Praet remains a key squad player for Leicester
Dennis Praet started only 12 games in the Premier League for the Foxes last term, and while he scored just once throughout the season, the Belgian’s quality as a playmaker was hardly ever called into question.
In fact, the 26-year-old’s limited game time hardly had anything to do with his commitment levels, rather it was largely down to the presence of better creative players like James Maddison and Tielemans in the club’s ranks. However, Praet was the go-to man for Rodgers whenever the manager opted to rotate either of his two first-choice attacking midfielders.
The Belgian started 7 times in the domestic cup games for the Foxes, which pretty much sums up his significance to the club as an important squad player. Now with Leicester set to compete in the Europa League next season, Praet will be expected to play a more prominent role for the Premier League outfit.
He is one of the very few players in the club’s ranks with some European experience, something that should hand a boost to Leicester’s chances on the continental front.
Moreover, with fixtures set to come thick and fast in the league this season, the Foxes need to ensure that they have adequate depth. Hence, parting ways with Praet at this moment wouldn’t be a smart idea considering that Leicester have very little depth beyond Maddison and Tielemans for the attacking midfield role.
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Having made a return to Europe, Leicester need to add to their squad this summer and not offload some of their key squad players.
Dennis Praet is certainly one of them and it would hardly make any sense for the Foxes to cash in on a player who is very much in his prime and still has his best years ahead of him.