Why Leicester City should go back in the market for Ismail Jakobs
Back in May, Spanish outlet Todo Fichajes (h/t Leicestershire Live) had mentioned Leicester City among the potential suitors for FC Koln starlet Ismail Jakobs. The Foxes were believed to have made contact with the German Bundesliga outfit over a potential deal for the versatile 21-year-old, who was rated at £9million back then.
Italian giants AS Roma (Daily Mail h/t Leicestershire Live) had also been credited with an interest in Jakobs earlier in the year but he ended up staying put at Koln.
Ismail Jakobs started his footballing education with BC Bleisheim before joining FC Koln’s youth system back in 2012. Having represented the club across U-17 and U-19 age-groups, Jakobs was promoted to Koln’s reserve side in 2017.
He was eventually promoted to the first-team ahead of the 2019-20 campaign and made his debut against Hoffenheim in November last year.
The 21-year-old started 20 fixtures for Koln in the Bundesliga last term, registering 2 goals and 2 assists in the process. Jakobs has continued to feature as a key squad player for the German club this season as well, starting 4 out of Koln’s 7 opening league fixtures so far.
Jakobs made his Germany U-21 debut back in August and has since accumulated 4 caps at that level. The youngster, though, remains eligible to switch his allegiance to represent Senegal through his father’s heritage.
Jakobs would be a good long-term signing for the Foxes
One of the breakout stars in the Bundesliga last season, Ismail Jakobs has carved out a reputation for himself as an exciting prospect in the German top-flight. Besides his obvious talent and potential, the 21-year-old has caught the eye with his versatility to play in multiple positions down the left flank.
Jakobs started out as a left-back in the previous campaign but has largely been utilised further up the pitch as a wing-back and also as an out-and-out winger. As evident from his heat map in the Bundesliga last season, the youngster has the energy and stamina to cover every blade of grass down the wide areas.
Strong concentration at both ends of the pitch shows that he is capable of contributing to the team in the offensive as well as defensive phases of play.
Putting things into context, Leicester City already have Luke Thomas and James Justin as versatile utility players in their squad but reigniting interest in Jakobs would still make a lot of sense.
With Demarai Gray and Christian Fuchs out of contract next summer, the Foxes should line up Jakobs as a younger alternative to offer Brendan Rodgers some valuable cover in multiple areas across the pitch.
Leicester City boast some top-quality talent in their ranks to go toe-to-toe with the elite clubs in the Premier League. However, the Foxes should continue to add more depth to their squad if they are to keep progressing in the right direction, with a return to the Champions League high on the agenda.
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Brendan Rodgers has an excellent track record of working with youngsters in his managerial career. It goes without saying that the Northern Irishman has had a positive influence on the development of up and coming players like Wesley Fofana, Luke Thomas and James Justin at the King Power stadium.
Ismail Jakobs might not be the finished article just yet but has already shown great potential in the Bundesliga. At 21, he still has his best years ahead of him, meaning the German has plenty of time to make significant improvements to his game to thrive in the Premier League.