Why Leicester City must not let go of Rachid Ghezzal
The 28-year-old Ghezzal has been on loan with Fiorentina since September last year in a deal which includes a €10m option to make his stay in Italy permanent at the end of the season.
The report also claims that the Serie A side are keen on tying him down to the club permanently, with the player hopeful that his on-loan club would exercise the available option. However, Fiorentina will most likely reject the option as they want to reduce his €10m asking price and buy him on a lower amount.
Meanwhile, Ghezzal, who arrived at Leicester in the summer of 2018 had failed to nail down a regular spot within the side, making a mere 19 league appearances in his maiden season.
Though the Algerian winger’s loan spell at Fiorentina has not been entirely successful, he has still managed 21 appearances altogether, playing in a variety of roles. A right-winger by trade, Ghezzal has featured eight times as a midfielder, seven times across the right flank, and twice as centre-forward, giving a fair glimpse of his versatility.
Despite his failure in English conditions, Ghezzal is an experienced customer having played 113 Ligue 1 games for former sides Olympique Lyon and AS Monaco.
In Ghezzal, Leicester have an experienced winger in their ranks
Meanwhile, Ghezzal’s parent club, Leicester, under new boss Brendan Rodgers have had a successful season, finishing an impressive fifth in the league. The side’s lack of attacking forwards had seen the Foxes roping in Ayoze Perez last summer to give them more firepower in front of goal.
Though Perez has impressed with eight goals and three assists from 33 league games in his maiden season, he is not an outright-winger. The Spaniard is more of a second striker and likes to play in the final third, which saw Rodgers move him ahead in the attack later in the season.
With Perez in front, the right-wing responsibilities was handed over to experienced campaigner Marc Albrighton. However, Albrighton is more conservative and plays a little deeper when compared to an attacking winger.
Apart from these two, Leicester also have winger Demarai Gray in their ranks but he is clearly not Rodgers favourite, having been limited to just 3 league starts this term.
That said, it would be foolish if Leicester decide to let go of their experienced winger Ghezzal. Though he has failed to impress at the King Power Stadium, it should not be forgotten that it was his first season with the Foxes.
Hence, rather than selling Ghezzal, Leicester must keep some faith in the out-of-favour winger and offer him more chances next season.
- Why Leicester City should not let go of Demarai Gray
- Why a new contract for James Maddison is the right step by Leicester City
- Leicester plot £18m bid for Wesley Fofana – Can they reap the rewards in the future?
First of all, it is clear that Leicester City have a dearth of established wingers in their side and letting go of Ghezzal does not seem like the safest of options. The Foxes must give him more time as he is an already proven customer, playing for French top-flight sides such as Monaco and Lyon. Also, his versatility is an added benefit for the Foxes.