This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
It’s the curse of punching above your weight in the Premier League.
As soon as you start doing well, people just want to tear you apart and flog off your best pieces to someone else. That’s exactly the situation that Leicester City right-back Ricardo Pereira finds himself in after recent comments by Jason Cundy.
Speaking on talkSPORT’s Drive, former Tottenham Hotspur defender Cundy spoke about just how well he’s been playing not just this season, but in the past as well, and how bigger clubs should be looking at going after him.
“He’s a perfect example of what a modern day right-back is, they’re not just a defender. Leicester are incredibly fortunate to have him. That’s the player that Spurs should be having at right-back”.
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If Leicester are serious about their future and turning the club into one of the established ‘big sides’ in the Premier League, they need to lock down as many of these players down on long term contracts as possible, with the right-back being chief amongst them.
We’ve spoken before about how important someone like Pereira has been to the Foxes. However, if they want to keep him away from the prying eyes, they should give him a new contract to either keep him here for the foreseeable future, or at the very least so that anyone who does want to sign him, has to fork out an extortionate fee in the same way Manchester United did for Harry Maguire in the summer.
Either way it gives them a little bit of leeway when it comes to navigating the future of the team, a backup plan if you will.
Leicester have shown that they can easily substitute their ‘top players’ over the years if they have to, like replacing N’Golo Kante with Wilfred Ndidi so whilst they have a star on their hands in Pereira, at least they give themselves a bit of a chance to find the next one with plenty of funds at their disposal.
Whilst his contract runs out in 2023, and he’s currently on £70k per week (via SportRac), neither of them should be a deterrent to offering up a new deal. This past summer, Fulham signed Tom Cairney and Aleksandar Mitrovic to new deals even though their terms at the time ran out in 2023.
An increase in salary would be a great way of sweetening the deal and rewarding him for his performances since he signed. Whether his future is at the King Power or elsewhere, at least give yourself a little bit more power when the time does come around.