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Pearson's signings rated

Leicester's fine season ended in disappointment with defeat in the semi-finals of this year's Championship play-offs.

But how did manager Nigel Pearson's signings fare over the course of the season? We rate and slate...

Summer:

Chris Weale (free from Bristol City): The former-Yeovil goalkeeper was plucked from the obscurity of Bristol City reserves to become Pearson's number one goalkeeper for the season ahead.

Such was the faith that the manager had, no other goalkeeper was signed in the summer or over the course of the season for that matter, despite Weale's lack of first team football and injury record.

A superb season for the Foxes has seen Weale repay the faith shown in him from the beginning, the goalkeeper starting in all but one of Leicester's league matches this season. An integral part of this season's play-off campaign. 9

Robbie Neilson (free from Hearts): The rugged right back was picked up on a free transfer from Scottish side Hearts after a lengthy career with the Jambos in the SPL.

A mixed year has seen Neilson never pick up the faith of the fans at Filbert Way, his limited abilities making life awkward at times for the Scot. Luck has not been on his side, however. 5

Ryan McGivern (loan from Manchester City): The Northern-Ireland international was snapped up from Eastlands after a successful spell out on loan with Morecambe where he earned more than his fair share of plaudits.

Life at Leicester has not turned out the same however, his rash and awkward performances at left back putting him low in City fans' good books this campaign. 3

Dany N'Guessan (undisclosed from Lincoln City): The powerful Frenchman was picked up from League Two Lincoln after an impressive year for the Imps where N'Guessan was named in the division's team of the year.

This season N'Guessan has proved a perfect weapon off the bench, with three goals as an impact player to go with his other three goals in all competitions. Unlucky not to have played a greater part in the season. 6

Richie Wellens (1.2m from Doncaster Rovers): Wellens arrived at the Walkers with a sizeable pricetag and the pedigree to accompany it after a huge presence in a succeeding Doncaster side.

The midfielder has proved to be a kingpin in the centre of the park for City this season, his abilities with the football playing a huge role for the Foxes in their bid for the play-offs. 8

Paul Gallagher (undisclosed from Blackburn Rovers): The 25-year-old joined City after being told his future did not lie at Ewood Park by manager Sam Allardyce.

Since then the Scot has not looked back despite a difficult start to his Leicester career. Initially finding most of his early appearances out of the wing, Gallagher excelled when placed in City's eventual 4-3-3 formation where his creativity was plain to see. Seven goals has also seen the forward chip in with his fair share. 7

Yann Kermorgant (free from Stade Reims): The previously unheard of Frenchman was picked from obscurity on a free transfer after a successful trial period with the club had management impressed.

But with one goal in 20 appearances (admittedly most of these coming off the bench), the 28-year-old has struggled to find his feet fully. It is fair to say that his antics in the play-off semi-final shoot-out will no be forgotten, his ludicrous chip backfiring horibbly to set Leicester on their way to an early exit. Has shown glimpses of what he is capable of at times. 5

Martyn Waghorn (loan from Sunderland): The saga transfer of Simon Cox failed to materialise, and Pearson was left with little time to find an alternative. So he turned to the then 19-year-old Waghorn, whose brief first team appearances for the Black Cats and a loan at Charlton had seen the youngster pick up a small amount of first team experience.

And nobody was to expect what was to follow from the loanee, whose 12 goals fired Leicester to the play-offs. But perhaps most importantly Waghorn took the lead role in the injury absence of Matty Fryatt, and duly delivered the goods. It goes without saying that it will be sad to see him leave. 9

During the season:

Alex Bruce (loan from Ipswich): The son of Steve, Bruce joined the Foxes with first team opportunities lacking at Portman Road.

Arriving with positive reviews from Ipswich supporters, Bruce's early days were hampered by injury which halted a debut appearance. When it finally arrived it was for just over half an hour, injury hauling the centre back off once again. But a series of starts in Leicester's last three matches, including both play-off semi-finals, signals the faith that Pearson has in the player. 6

Nolberto Solano (free transfer, unattached): Nigel Pearson picked up the former-Newcastle legend on a free transfer after the Peruvian left his native Universitario de Deportes with a league title under his belt.

Solano has stepped into the right back position admirably on a number of occassions this season, with a consistency to match most players in the team. With his short term deal up at the end of the season Pearson could well be tempted to extend the stay of the 35-year-old for another season. 7

James Vaughan (loan from Everton): As the Premier League's youngest goal-scorer Vaughan had been thought to have a bright future with he Toffees, but injuries have sadly since plagued the career of the youngster.

Leicester beat East Midlands rivals Derby to the loan signature of the striker in March, but niggling injuries limited appearances for the 21-year-old. With a solitary goal against QPR he did not find the net as much as would liked to have done, but performances have generally been of a good standard in a City shirt. 6

Jay Spearing (loan from Liverpool): The former captain of Liverpool's youth cup winning side, Spearing eventually broke into the Liverpool first team with irregular appearances.

At 21 years of age and a regular place not on the horizon the midfielder set out in search of first team football with the Foxes, and duly found it by dislodging captain Matt Oakley in the middle almost immediately. And how it was deserved, as Spearing consistently pleased the City faithful with a series of bullish and energetic performances. A permanent deal would not displease anybody. 7.5




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The Journalist

Writer: JBFox Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday May 14 2010

Time: 9:16PM

 

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