Leicester City’s transfer window was a successful one for several reasons, yet a failed last-minute swoop for Middlesbrough’s Djed Spence may leave manager Brendan Rodgers with a sour taste.
The highly-rated 21-year-old was linked with a move to the Midlands outfit in recent weeks, and, according to The Northern Echo, Leicester were one of several sides interested in securing Spence’s services on Deadline Day as they searched for cover and competition on the right-hand side.
It’s believed that the club’s hierarchy made contact with Middlesbrough over a possible move for the Englishman, but Nottingham Forest beat them to his signature, securing Spence on a season-long loan deal.
The Foxes brought in the likes of Boubakary Soumare, Patson Daka and Jannik Vestergaard, amongst others, to complete a highly efficient summer at the King Power Stadium, although one area remains particularly threadbare.
Marc Albrighton remains the only natural right-winger in Rodgers’ first-team squad following the departure of Cengiz Under, with both Harvey Barnes and Ademola Lookman preferring the opposite flank.
And although Spence has played a large portion of his career at full-back, he’s equally adept further up the pitch, while his presence would also have allowed Ricardo Pereira to fill in on the wing as well.
However, despite Leicester’s last-minute attempts to address the obvious gap, their efforts proved to be unsuccessful, and the youngster moved to a club currently marooned at the bottom of the Championship table.
As a result, Rodgers is likely to have been left gutted. Director of football Jon Rudkin has worked wonders in the transfer market since taking over the reins, but his inability to get this deal over the line may cost Leicester this season.
Recording consecutive fifth-place finishes in the top-flight is a remarkable achievement for the Foxes, yet a lack of squad depth has left them wondering what could have been had injuries not stripped them of their star performers.
It’s hard to criticise Leicester’s recruitment team given the minor miracles they’ve pulled off in recent times, although Spence slipping away could be one they come to regret come May.