According to a fresh report from the Daily Mail, Leicester City are on a lookout for a full-back that could compensate for the potential departure of their first-choice star Ben Chilwell.
The Foxes are bracing for Chilwell’s exit with Chelsea said to be contemplating a bid in the summer and Sunderland’s Ryan Bertrand is currently pretty high on their wishlist.
Call yourself a Premier League expert? How much did each of these big-money January signings cost?
The current Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers was actually a youth coach at the Blues’ camp during Bertrand’s time in their academy so he knows the now 30-year-old player quite well.
This could help them make a decision or even give them a boost in their potential chase of the veteran if Chilwell does end up leaving.
But when comparing the two players in question, it becomes apparent that Bertrand wouldn’t really represent an improvement of any kind at Leicester.
Both players have been given a similar amount of game time in the ongoing campaign – 1394 minutes for Sunderland’s star and 1610 for Leicester’s – but their stats were taken prior to the weekend’s Premier League action, which has to be taken into consideration.
With all of that being said, it’s pretty evident that Chilwell is simply the superior of the two in almost all important categories across the board, starting with his defensive contribution.
Even though Bertrand boasts a better average of 1.3 interceptions per game as opposed to Chilwell’s 1.1, the latter player is a better tackler – with 1.3 compared to 1.2 – and it’s also slightly more difficult to dribble past him, as evidenced by his 0.8 times dribbled past compared to his rival’s 1.1.
And this could indeed be a warning sign for Leicester.
Let’s not forget that their aspirations are high under Rodgers with the Foxes currently occupying a place in the Champions League spots,
Needless to say, if they end up losing Chilwell, they need to bring in a quality reinforcement who could give them a boost for next season and ensure the England international’s void is adequately filled.
But Bertrand is not really an offensive outlet either as he has recorded just 0.9 key passes and 0.2 dribbles per game. The Foxes’ quick and aggressive style of football might not be compatible with their current transfer target.
When everything is said and done this seems like a blunder waiting to happen for Leicester.