Cambiasso capture and McArthur move makes Foxes midfield makeover
Nigel Pearson has talked a lot about transfer window frustration this summer. The Leicester City boss isn’t the only one suffering, but he should feel a little better after finally getting his man in ex-Argentina and Inter Milan midfielder Esteban Cambiasso tied down to a one-year deal.
The Foxes, who are 3/1 shots with Coral to be relegated this season, have also agreed a fee, reportedly £7m, with Wigan Athletic for highly-rated Scotland international James McArthur, so we can expect to see a new-look engine room.
Leicester’s relegation rivals Burnley and Crystal Palace were also interested in McArthur, 26. Beating off this competition from one of the Latics’ Northwest neighbours and a London club to bring him to the East Midlands was a real coup, then.
Cambiasso, now 34, who famously applied the finishing touch to Argentina’s 20-something pass team goal at the 2006 World Cup, is also in this bracket. He was the anchorman in Jose Mourinho’s Inter side of 2010 that won a historic Serie A, Coppa Italia and Champions League treble.
Signing Cambiasso, and the subsequent likely arrival of McArthur before the transfer window slams shut on September 1st, are not signs there is a lack of faith on Pearson’s part in the ability of current Foxes midfielders, however.
Most of his present options have struggled with injury at the start of the season, and this goes some way to explaining why Leicester have only picked up one Premier League point so far. Deep-lying playmaker Danny Drinkwater and fellow Manchester United academy graduate Matty James, when fit, can learn a lot from Cambiasso.
If the McArthur deal is added to the Argentine before deadline day, then an exit for Foxes stalwart Andy King looks on the cards. He was the only fit senior midfielder for their midweek Capital One Cup tie with lower league opposition Shrewsbury Town.
Pearson opted against starting King, so he may read between the lines concerning this and the anticipated arrivals at the King Power Stadium. Odds-on at 1/5, Coral remain confident that Leicester can stay up during their first top-flight appearance for a decade, but the question is can the capture of Cambiasso propel them into mid-table safety?
A top 10 finish is only priced at 4/1, so not much less likely than the Foxes falling out of the Premier League. Pearson will hope his long-time touted free transfer and purchasing McArthur will bear fruit.