Brendan Rodgers is barely in the door at Leicester, and although he has nine league games to suss out his squad and determine where he needs to strengthen, you just know recruitment will be lingering in the former Liverpool boss’ mind.
It’s worth noting that he hardly needs a personnel overhaul. The group of players the Northern Irishman has inherited is a solid bunch, and the right one or two signings could really elevate them from a mid-table side into European contention.
So, to that end, we’ve combined logic, speculation and common sense to come up with a list of eight players Rodgers and his new head of recruitment could – or should – be enquiring about come June.
Brendan Rodgers has made a point of developing youth wherever he has managed, and there has been no greater beneficiary of that than Celtic left-back Kieran Tierney.
Though already emerging as a quality talent prior to Rodgers’ arrival in Glasgow, under the Northern Irishman, he blossomed into perhaps Scottish football’s brightest young talent. He’s been tipped for a big money move south of the border for a while now, and with Rodgers jumping ship, the time might just be right for Tierney to join him.
Though Leicester don’t need a left-back at present, Ben Chilwell has been heavily linked with Manchester City among others, so should he leave, the 21-year-old will no doubt be one of the first ports of call.
Who knows what the story will be at the heart of Leicester’s defence next season. Harry Maguire has been linked with several moves away, Wes Morgan is about 45, Jonny Evans is getting on a bit himself, and then there’s Filip Benkovic – who Rodgers worked with at Celtic – to come back into the picture.
It’s impossible to call, but it seems like there’s a fair chance they could find themselves in need of a new centre-back, and if that is the case, then there are few safer options than Brighton‘s Lewis Dunk.
He’s been a stand-out at the Seagulls, who are struggling a bit this season, and a move to Leicester looks like the next natural step up. At 27, he’s arguably the best age at which to sign a centre-back, and he has a fair amount of top flight experience to his name. On top of that, he’s definitely the most Leicester signing on this list.
McGinn moved to Aston Villa from Hibs in the summer, and has certainly hit the ground running in the Championship. He’s made 30 appearances so far, missing only four matches through injury and suspension – the latter an occupational hazard of his tenacious nature.
On top of that, Rodgers is certainly familiar with him. Celtic were very close to signing him back in August, and the then-Hoops boss admitted after he’d signed for Villa that he was disappointed not to secure his signature.
He’d be a statement signing, and at 24, he could become one of the centre-pieces of a new look Foxes midfield for years to come.
This one isn’t likely to inspire too much enthusiasm in Leicester fans, but it makes sense on several levels.
He’s a highly experienced player that has worked with Rodgers at both Swansea and Liverpool, and given that has no immediate route back to the Premier League with Stoke as he approaches his 30s, it seems feasible that he’ll fancy a move to join his old boss in the midlands.
Still, one to file under ‘could’ rather than ‘should.’
McGregor is another who grew exponentially under Rodgers at Celtic Park, as he was swiftly brought in from the wilderness of the first-team fringes to become a star for club and country.
Equally adept playing in the number ten role as he is protecting the back four, the 25-year-old still has his best years ahead of him, and could offer a cheaper alternative to Youri Tielemans should the Foxes baulk over Monaco’s £40m asking price.
He’s been touted by some in the Scottish press to be the first player to follow Rodgers to the Premier League, so there could actually be something in this one.
Leicester are reported to have had scouts watching Porto’s Champions League win over AS Roma during the week, and speculation over who they could have been having a look at has been rife.
It’s a stab in the dark, but they were linked last month with 29-year-old Yacine Brahimi, who appeared as a substitute in the win. If an experienced attacker is what they’re after, then they could do a lot worse.
Crucially, he is out of contract in the summer, meaning he could be available on a free if Leicester move quickly.
Whether it’s at parent club Liverpool or not, it seems as though it’s only a matter of time before Derby County’s Harry Wilson cracks it and becomes a hit in the Premier League.
The Wales international has been flying in his current spell under Frank Lampard, scoring 12 goals so far this season, and Leicester are among the clubs he’s been linked with should the Reds decide to cash in rather than integrate him into the first team.
At 21 and in the form of his life, he likely wouldn’t come cheap, but he fits the mould for both the club and Rodgers, with the mutual philosophy being the development of young, homegrown talent. James Maddison 2.0 anyone?
Rounding off the list with perhaps the most likely move Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos has been heavily linked with a move ever since Rodgers took charge, and it’s easy to see why when you look at the numbers.
The Colombian international gets such a raw deal for his disciplinary record that his exemplary strike rate is often overlooked, but he has 27 goals in 39 appearances for Steven Gerrard’s side this season.
With Kelehechi Iheanacho hardly firing, it could be time for a new long-term alternative to Jamie Vardy.