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Should They Stay Or Should They Go? (Part 2)

Should They Stay Or Should They Go? (Part 2)
The second part of this article focuses on Leicester players who have been at the club this season, but who are also out of favour or, for whatever reason, are facing an uncertain future at the Walkers Stadium. The list could be longer than fans may have expected.

Chris Weale

Age: 29

31 caps this season

Verdict

Chris Weale enjoyed a fantastic season in goal under Nigel Pearson during the 2009/10 season. However, since the arrival of Sven-Goran Eriksson, he has not been a consistent starter and was dropped to the bench in January and replaced with former Portuguese international Ricardo. Weale has since reclaimed the number one spot but his performances have been inconsistent - possibly due to a lack of confidence - and he has made a number of glaring, uncharacteristic errors.

Sven looks set to splash out on a goalkeeper in the summer; the Foxes were strongly linked with Manchester City`s Shay Given during the January transfer window. This was a statement of intent and although not out of contract, it is likely that Weale would be no more than a backup next season.

Stay or Go?

Go. Weale is good enough to start for another team and should be allowed to do so.

Ricardo

Age: 35

8 caps this season

Verdict

Much to the dismay of a large proportion of Foxes fans, Ricardo replaced Chris Weale in the Leicester City goal back in January. Without falling into the age old debate of who actually performed better during the final stretch of last season, Ricardo`s performances often left little to be desired and did not install a great deal of confidence.

Like with Weale, with it being highly likely that a Premier League goalkeeper will be signed over the summer, it is hard to imagine Ricardo being at the Walkers Stadium in August - especially as he was signed as a free agent and only until the end of this season.

Stay or Go?

Go. Despite seeming to be Sven`s preferred choice at times, he will look to permanently sign a goalkeeper.

Michael Lamey

Age: 31

4 caps this season

Verdict

Lamey joined the Foxes at the beginning of August after impressing Paolo Sousa during a two-week trial. Even after that, he played sparingly in the Championship and after Sousa`s departure, Lamey struggled to even make the substitutes bench.

With age not on his side as a full-back, he is highly unlikely to feature in the Foxes promotion hunt next season.

Stay or Go?

Go. Sven`s overhaul of his defensive line means that Lamey will probably leave the club over the summer.

Joao Teixeira (Moreno)

Age: 29

3 caps this season

Verdict

Moreno is another Paolo Sousa signing who failed to break into the first team even when Sousa was in charge. Although he made the substitutes bench during the latter part of this season, this was primarily due to a shortage of replacement centre backs, with Sol Bamba and Ben Mee both picking up injuries. The final nail in the coffin was during the final game of last season when Eriksson opted to replace his Portuguese counterpart Miguel Vitor (through injury) with Alexsandar Tunchev - who had been sidelined for eighteen months - rather than Moreno.

Although a versatile player, it seems quite likely that Moreno will not feature next season either.

Stay or Go?

Go. Moreno has only ever made the substitutes bench since Sven`s arrival and will struggle to break into the starting line up.

Steve Howard

Age: 35

16 caps, 5 goals this season

Verdict

Steve Howard was a regular in the squad under Nigel Pearson in both League One and the Championship and forged a formidable partnership with Matty Fryatt in the process and scoring some truly memorable goals. But with the arrival of Yakubu and Darius Vassell, competition has been tough this season and Howard has found himself struggling for playing time - although still physically able to play well.

Although Sven has stated that he has no desire to sell Howard, it is rumoured that Sheffield Wednesday have expressed interest in the big man and, with him entering the autumn years of his playing career, he will struggle to break into the starting line-up at Leicester next season. A bit of a heartbreaker, but it is a likely scenario.

Stay or Go?

Go. Howard deserves to play football week in week out at a decent level, but he will struggle to replace potential signings.

Aleksandar Tunchev

Age: 29

2 caps this season (as substitute)

Verdict

Although a fan favourite during the League One campaign, Tunchev has been sidelined for eighteen months and has only played five games in the last two seasons after suffering serious knee injuries. He came on as a substitute against Ipswich Town on the last game of the season and performed well. But on paper, this one is an easy one to figure out, surely?

Well, no. Tunchev still has a burning desire to play football for Leicester City. He has worked extremely hard to bring himself back, not only to a level of fitness to be able to appear again this season, but to stop his career from being over. Although 30 in July, he is not too old for this level and he is an absolutely superb centre back. Foxes fans still love him and, although it might be a head-versus-heart decision for Sven, it could be detrimental to the development of Leicester`s younger defenders (see part one) if Tunchev was not offered at least a one year contract.

Stay or Go?

Stay. Tunchev deserves the chance to prove that he can still perform at this level.

Martyn Waghorn

Age: 21

11 caps, 4 goals this season

Verdict

Martyn Waghorn established himself as a firm fan favourite during his season-long loan from Sunderland in 2009, scoring 12 goals in 28 games - including one on his debut for the Foxes against Swansea City. Paolo Sousa signed Waghorn at the end of the summer transfer window for a massive 3 million - but since Sven`s arrival, the majority of the youngster`s playing time has been as a substitute. However, he scored some important goals this season - including his stoppage time winner against Bristol City.

The concern with Martyn Waghorn is that he struggles to hugely change the game as a substitute. Given a consistent run of games, he is likely to yield a return of goals and solid performances. But his chances will be few and far between, and is unlikely to be given the chance to replicate his debut season. A number of other clubs are rumoured to be interested in the 21-year old; it may be wise to allow him to move on and further his career.

Stay or Go?

Go. Waghorn needs the opportunity to progress as a player - something he may not get at Leicester.

Bruno Berner

Age: 33

19 caps, 1 goal this season

Verdict

Bruno Berner has become an established favourite with the fans after joining the club during the Nigel Pearson era. He played under Paolo Sousa and has played sparingly under Sven, but the arrival of Greg Cunningham followed by Patrick Van Aanholt severely limited the amount of games the Swiss international appeared in - even though the Leicester City backline conceded more goals when Berner was absent. After considering leaving the Walkers Stadium in January, he was offered a one year contract and temporarily regained his place at left back when Greg Cunningham suffered a broken leg - although he subsequently lost his place to Patrick Van Aanholt.

At 33, Berner still has a good level of energy and stamina and in terms of defending he is the best full back at the club. However, if a replacement does come in, Berner may feel the need to move on as well. Sven will have a difficult decision to make if he does decide on that.

Stay or Go?

Stay. Berner is still good enough to challenge for his position, and a youthful backline will benefit from his experience.

Lloyd Dyer

Age: 28

22 caps, 5 goals this season

Verdict

Dyer can be a very one dimensional player at times. He has blistering pace even for a winger, and therefore would fit into Leicester`s adopted style of football. On the other hand, his first touch often lets him down and can be quite erratic with his shooting. He has not featured as much since the arrival of Darius Vassell and Diomansy Kamara but can still run full backs ragged on his day.

After signing a contract which would keep him at the club until 2014, Dyer is a very useful squad player to have around. Even though he may not start a huge amount of games next season, he will do everything he can to break into the starting line up.

Stay or Go?

Stay. Another fan favourite who deserves the opportunity to fight for his spot.

The third and final part of this article will look at the Leicester City players who have been loaned out to other sides this season and whether or not they feature in Sven`s long term plans at the Walkers Stadium.

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Writer:Simon Poole
Date:Monday May 23 2011
Time: 7:41AM

Comments

0
You got Ricardo and Lamey right for starters! :-)
SvensAmbition
23/05/2011 07:51:00
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