Five Reasonable Transfer Targets for Leicester to get into the Champions League

I’ve been playing with my transfer simulator 1, trying to find some good signings for various teams and I figured I’d post some blogs about what I found. With Leicester City being in the news and some of the big models (including mine) predicting they have a chance at the Champions League, I thought I’d start with them.

The “rules” for transfer club are simple: I haven’t watched a ton of footage from some of these clubs, so I start by looking at my “Points Above Replacement” spreadsheets to identify growth opportunities.

Next, I look at top of the list of players identified as improvements and delete any players who I feel are unsignable. Reasons for this include “plays for a direct rival”, “would be too expensive”, “too old to buy”, or “plays for a bigger club and would be unlikely to move downward.” I also look at Transfermarkt to see what they say the player’s value is as a proxy for a lot of these things.

That’s about it – I’m pretty lax on position because I think my model sometimes identifies potential tactical shifts that would benefit a team by playing someone in a different role. With the description out of the way, here’s who I’ve identified for Leicester City.

Week 15 - Transfer Upgrades for Leicester City

All of these players are young and are likely within Leicester City’s buying range. I like Sonny Kittel a lot because he can play centrally or on either wing 2, and he’s a big upgrade over Drinkwater according to my model.3  He’s just recovering from a fairly serious injury though, so they may not want to take a chance on him. Depending on what you’re looking for, Magnanelli, Kacar, and Dabo are also improvements and are more defensive-minded which may be a better tactical fit depending on what Leicester is looking for.

The second player is Florentin Pogba, who’s a 3 point upgrade over Wes Morgan. He looks a little stronger in terms of offensive statistics, and is younger with a bigger upside. MOTSON thinks signing both him and Kittel gives Leicester City an extra 10 points over the season, or ~5 over a half-season.  In a season where 4th place is relatively wide open and small margins could matter, these are all decent signings at a reasonable price.

  1. The public version is currently down, but I’ll re-up the paid subscription to Shiny Server around December 20 when the transfer rumors get into full swing again.
  2. I always like players who can cover for other players, especially for teams with a limited budget
  3. Someone mentioned on Twitter that Drinkwater is pretty highly rated right now, and from the little I’ve seen I agree with this. The model likes all of these players over N’Golo Kante as well, but everything I’ve read lately says he’s playing too well to bench.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *