Leicester City - McAuley set to leave Foxes
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McAuley set to leave Foxes

It emerged earlier today that Foxes centre-half and Northern Ireland International Gareth McAuley could be on the verge of a 1.5 million move to Ipswich's Portman Road.

Jim Magilton, the Ipswich manager, had stated a clear interest in McAuley during the January transfer window and had 3 bids turned down.

It looks as if Magilton may have finally got his man after it was reported the defender, who only signed a 3-year contract back in February, had taken a medical. It appears the prospect of League 1 football doesn't fit in with his plans to keep his place in the Northern Irish team.

For most of the season McAuley, along with Kisnorbo and Stearman, formed one of the most solid defences in the Championship after conceding only 45 goals. With Kisnorbo out with a lengthy lay-off and many Premiership clubs looking at Stearman, City will need to make some shrewd signings throughout the summer.

Some fans see it as a disappointment that he will be going whereas others see it as a good sale for a good price.

The Journalist

Writer: FatherTed Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday June 17 2008

Time: 5:28PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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Whether McAuley's departure would be good or bad depends on your perspective. There is no doubt he's a solid defender and his partnership with Kisnorbo represented as good a "no entry" sign as you'll see outside Premiership football. But in car trade parlance, a fee of 1.2-1.5m would probably equate to "top book price" for a centre-back who's always looked more of a stopper than a starter of football moves. Arguably the biggest reason Leicester were relegated was because they failed to score enough goals and a contributing factor was that they didn't launch attacks consistently enough or often enough from the back. That wasn't all McAuley's fault. Kisnorbo was at least equally careless. And while you might cope with one gifted defender too easily and too often returning the ball to the opposition, having two simply invites too much pressure and starves the attack of necessary service. If Kisnorbo wasn't a long-term injury victim, McAuley's departure wouldn't be of great concern. If would offer an opportunity to get more pace and passing into the defence either via Stearman or a new signing. Some have said Harry Worley is the natural successor. But it's a view based on one relevent first team game when he was fairly average and a couple of reserves outings when he looked decidedly vulnerable at times. Worley is undoubtedly a footballer. Although 6 feet 3 inches tall he's looked an elegant and constructive player rather than the robust, block everything destroyer that is Patrick Kisnorbo. Unfortunately Worley's elegance has so far been negated by his tendency to make naive and goal-costing mistakes or to get sidetracked into arguing with the referee with the effect of leaving his fellow defenders light-handed. Yes, those errors might have been down to new-boy nervousness but they'll have to be rectified if defensive standards are to be maintained and attacking impetus improved. Richard Stearman is probably the more serious option at this stage. He might still be young but he's becoming vastly experienced with over 100 appearances already. He was one of our few successes last season - at right back - but many claim centre-back is his natural position and they might well be right. Stearman of all people would add pace and creativity where little presently exists and some even believe he could take on the role of skipper. Assuming he too doesn't leave, of course!
Filbert's Nuts
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18/06/2008 00:16:00

Report Abuse
21/06/2008 01:04:00

If you can get 1.5 million then you can replace him with enough talent for League One standards.
Report Abuse
21/06/2008 14:48:00


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