Leicester City have been linked with a move for RC Lens and Belgium striker Loïs Openda in January, as Brendan Rodgers looks to strengthen his attacking options.
That is according to Media Foot in France, which states that the 22-year-old fits the Premier League side’s ideal profile of striker.
The Foxes already have three first-team centre-forward options at their disposal in Jamie Vardy, Patson Daka and Kelechi Iheanacho, but it seems that the club could be weighing up the potential of adding to their forward line if the rumours are anything to go by.
Signing Openda would likely bring about some interesting knock-on effects at the King Power Stadium, so let’s take a look at the potential outcomes should the young Belgium international end up in the east Midlands…
The end of Jamie Vardy?
The end of Vardy’s time at Leicester is something that has been questioned in recent times, yet the Sheffield-born striker has consistently proved doubters wrong, especially when his future seemed to be in jeopardy following the £22m arrival of Daka last season.
However, there can be no doubt that the 35-year-old has endured a difficult start to the current Premier League campaign – as have the rest of his teammates – with the striker failing to find the back of the net so far this term.
Meanwhile, Openda has scored four goals in seven Ligue 1 appearances this campaign according to Transfermarkt, suggesting that the forward is exactly what Rodgers’ side could do with up front this season.
The arrival of Openda at Leicester could potentially push Vardy out of the starting lineup if the manager was to gamble on the three-cap Belgium international being an immediate hit at the King Power Stadium – potentially signalling the beginning of the end for the Premier League winner’s career in Foxes colours.
Therefore, we believe that the rumours regarding the Lens striker may cause some attacking players to feel a little nervous about their place in Rodgers’ team.
A change of system (and fortunes?)
Alternatively, Rodgers may look at the potential signing of Openda to move from his favoured 4-2-3-1 system into a flat 4-4-2 setup with a pair of out-and-out forwards.
It’s certainly something that the former Celtic boss may have to consider, given that the club could potentially have four first-team strikers on the books come January – and performances on the pitch are proving stale thus far.
A new-look Leicester might therefore be just the tonic the club need following a start to the season which sees them rooted to the bottom of the Premier League, and Rodgers might turn towards a front two of Openda and Daka – the player with the best goals-per-minute ratio at the club – to maximise his side’s potential attacking capabilities.
Doubling the threat up top could see the pair could form a lethal partnership that Premier League defences are not used to, and particularly in the second half of the campaign post-World Cup – a competition Daka will not participate in – stretched backlines in the top flight may play into Leicester’s hands.
Though it may seem like a potential run-of-the-mill signing in the winter, the potential signing of Openda, who has been described as “intelligent” by journalist Josh Bunting, could see a number of changes at Leicester that may well signal the beginning of a new era for the former Premier League champions.
And while it may be premature to start thinking about whether a transfer is realistic, it is clear that there are many ways Leicester could turn this situation to their advantage.