What now for Max?
Nobody is quite sure as to what the future holds for Max Gradel at Leicester City. But now manager Nigel Pearson has some decisions to make regarding his little winger from the Ivoy Coast, as Gradel played the final match of his loan spell for Leeds United last night.
It is fairly likely that Leeds would like to extend his loan past the initial one month period, but with Matt Oakley currently out injured with a groin issue (the extent of which still remains to be seen) Gradel may well be required back at City for now.
But even with a fully-fit Oakley, there are times when this Foxes side are screaming out for an injection of excitement from the wing. We've all seen what Gradel is capable of, and for the most part he has demonstrated to Pearson that he has what it takes whilst on loan to League One.
A string of exciting performances have left Leeds fans with the hope that Grayson can secure the 21-year-old's services for a further period of time. And this is unfortunately reasonably likely given Pearson's past comments. The manager said on Gradel's departure: 'Max has had, and will have, very limited opportunities here at the moment. That is testament to the depth of the quality we have. It is in our interests and the player's interest to get some first-team opportunities.'
Given the Foxes' current league position it would hardly be disastrous if Gradel were to carry on for Leeds, but the potential is then there for a permanent switch to Elland Road should it satisfy both parties. Leicester fans would no doubt be saddened if his were to be the case, a scenario which seems increasingly likely given Gradel's current enjoyment with Leeds.
What perhaps comes as the biggest disappointment to City's supporters is Gradel's failure to replicate the form displayed on loan, quite frankly brilliant at Bournemouth, in a Leicester shirt. Inconsistencies have forever plagued his Foxes career, and it is these that may hinder his chances of ever making it at Leicester City.
Nigel Pearson would not have allowed Gradel to move out on loan if he didn't think it were to be beneficial for this club. There are clearly reasons why he has failed to take up a starting position in a blue shirt this season, and we are all hoping that these can be rectified to see Max Gradel enjoying his football for Leicester City in the near future.
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