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Should They Stay Or Should They Go? (Part 1)



The 2010/11 Championship campaign has seen Leicester use over 35 different players over the course of the season. But which players would Sven-Goran Eriksson do well to keep at the Walkers Stadium next year? Who would bring that extra something to a team with Premier League ambition? Fans may be expecting a busy summer, but will there be fresh faces all around?

This is the first part of a look at a certain set of players who Sven will be considering whether or not to bring back for next season`s promotion push - the loan players.

Kyle Naughton

Parent club: Tottenham Hotspur
Age: 22 years

33 caps, 5 goals this season

Verdict

The Tottenham loanee has enjoyed a fantastic season at Leicester City, scoring five times from the full-back position (although pushing forward with such energy in attack he appears confident enough at times to be a winger) and winning the Young Player of the Season award for the Foxes. His defending is solid and he makes very few mistakes. He extended his initial loan spell from January until the end of the season, which is an indication of him being happy at Leicester. Most fans would be delighted to see Naughton back at the club next season and, as Spurs have strength in depth in the right back position, there is a real possibility.

However, the pull of the Premier League may be too tempting for such a young talent. Recently promoted Queens Park Rangers are rumoured to be interested, while a recent call up to the provisional England U21 squad will have a number of other managers turning their heads. Eriksson is likely to put in a bid for Naughton during the summer, but he could be heading to the top flight.

Stay or Go?

Stay. Sven-Goran Eriksson should certainly be considering bringing Naughton in on a permanent deal.

Ben Mee

Parent club: Manchester City
Age: 21 years

10 caps this season

Verdict

The Manchester City youngster had a terrible start to his loan spell at the Walkers Stadium. In his first game, he gave away two penalties (one after less than a minute) and on another day may have been issued a red card. Since then, Mee has worked tirelessly to prove his critics wrong and done so with real gusto. You will never see him duck out of a challenge and is great in the air for a comparatively short centre-half.

Aged 21, he has a good future ahead of him. But with the financial situation as strong as it is at Manchester City and their ability to attract world class players (this ability will only grow with Champions League football being on the cards next season), his future may well be away from Eastlands. Leicester are thin on central defenders (especially with Alexsandar Tunchev`s future at the club uncertain) and Ben Mee is a raw talent who can adapt to play left-back if required.

Stay or Go?

Stay. Mee could quite easily develop into a starting centre back at Leicester. Sven may consider a season long loan for the Sale born defender which would allow him to develop.

Miguel Vitor

Parent club: Benfica
Age: 21

15 caps, 3 goals this season

Verdict

Although Vitor was one of Paulo Sousa`s signings, the Portuguese defender played sparingly in the opening stages of the season. After scoring his first goal for the club in 2010 against Barnsley, Vitor`s season was marred by a hamstring injury that saw him sidelined for months. Since returning, he has been used in rotation and generally impressed as a solid centre-half.

It seems strange that Sven announced that he was interested in signing Vitor as he dropped the 21 year old one game after he scored a brace. It is difficult to understand how highly he is rated because of this. But, as mentioned earlier, Leicester are thin on centre-backs and Vitor would fit into the Foxes` style of football nicely. He is always a threat from set pieces too; his three goals have come from either free kicks or corners.

Stay or Go?

Stay. Sven should consider making Vitor a permanent Leicester player this summer - if his current injury is not too serious.

Patrick Van Aanholt

Parent club: Chelsea
Age: 20

11 caps, 1 goal this season

Verdict

Van Aanholt has had an inconsistent loan spell due to injury - he missed six weeks with a torn thigh muscle in February. Since joining Chelsea in 2009, he has played only twice for them and has undergone loan spells at Coventry, Newcastle and now Leicester. Dubbed as 'the next Ashley Cole`, the Dutchman is a real talent pushing forward although at times his defending has left little to be desired.

Van Aanholt has certainly improved on that side of the ball and his attacking play is a genuine threat to other sides. But Sven has been critical of his defence this season for letting in too many goals, and whether he has done enough to impress Eriksson to bring him back next season is unclear. Chelsea will probably make the decision for him anyway, and there is little chance of a permanent move in that respect.

Stay or Go?

Go. Van Aanholt would get games regularly at Leicester if he were brought back on loan next season, but Sven may look for a more experienced head at left-back.

Diomansy Kamara

Parent Club: Fulham
Age: 30

7 caps, 2 goals this season

Verdict

After moving to Craven Cottage in 2007, the Senegalese striker has played just 59 games for Fulham and found himself out of favour this season, falling down the pecking order dramatically. However, his three seasons at West Bromwich Albion make it clear that he is an experienced player at this level but does still have Premier League ability - which has been demonstrated in his brief spell at the Walkers Stadium.

Kamara can tear sides apart when he has a good day. Has a slight tendency to go missing when he has a bad day. But he has indicated that he wishes to return next season, and his performance in the end of season clash with Ipswich Town was indicative of that. He has blistering pace despite being the wrong side of 30 and oozes confidence with his close control. He would be a fantastic addition to the squad and have the burning desire to make it to the Premier League with a new club.

Stay or Go?

Stay. Sven should be looking at making Kamara a permanent signing.

Yakubu

Parent club: Everton
Age: 28

20 caps, 11 goals this season

Verdict

This is the interesting one of the bunch. Yakubu has spent a lot of time in the Premier League and his goal scoring record in that division has always been impressive. Since joining the Foxes in January this year, the Yak has scored 11 goals in 20 games. Most fans would be pleased with that, but many are frustrated with his reluctance to chase down every lost cause. That simply is not the type of player he is.

Yakubu believes his future does not lie at Goodison Park, and has stated that he would cherish a permanent move to Leicester. David Moyes is rumoured to want to cut his losses with the Nigerian so that Everton can restructure their wage bill for next season. Money is likely not to come into the equation at Leicester, and Yakubu could well be the 25 goal-a-season striker Leicester have yearned for during the last two seasons.

Stay or Go?

Stay. It is possible that Yakubu could be one of Leicester`s big summer deals.

Jeffrey Bruma

Parent club: Chelsea
Age: 19

10 caps, 2 goals this season

Verdict

Bruma has steadily improved during his loan spell and scored two wonder goals in the game against Burnley. Chelsea clearly rate him highly and he has made his full international debut for Holland at the age of 19. Sven also clearly rates the youngster, at times bravely starting him instead of a preferred option by the fans.

His naivety and immaturity has been shown at times, but he would be a strong squad player who can also play in midfield - arguably his better position. But with current depth in that position, it is more likely he would feature as a centre-back. Like Van Aanholt, a permanent transfer away from Stamford Bridge is unlikely. But a season long loan would allow Bruma to develop so much more - and he has expressed his interest to stay.

Stay or Go?

Stay if possible - Sven clearly likes what he sees in this young prospect and he will only get better - if Chelsea are willing to loan him out again.

Part two will focus on a number of current Leicester City players whose future at the club remains uncertain and what their role may be next season.

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The Journalist

Writer: Simon Poole Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday May 23 2011

Time: 7:32AM

 

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