A second deadline day is coming up and Leicester City are expected to approach it the same way they did the first.
Earlier in the month as the international transfer window came to a close, City’s focus was on outgoings rather than incomings, with Rachid Ghezzal and Josh Knight leaving on loan.
There is unlikely to be a change of plan heading into the domestic transfer deadline, with City still able to do business with EFL clubs until 5pm on Friday.
Here’s a rundown of what could happen over the next week.
Brendan Rodgers wanted five new signings at City this summer, but he and the club are content with the three they have, given the immediate lift they give the squad.
This summer, Rodgers and City put a focus on “quality”, setting out to sign players who could make instant impacts. Those players can come at a premium.
While they are still two short of their desired number, City will not sacrifice that focus on quality purely to bolster their ranks. Hence, further recruitment from the Championship or lower is unlikely.
City have done well in recent seasons in snapping up James Maddison and James Justin from EFL clubs. But the former was a big-money buy, costing a fee that City would be reluctant to spend in a summer hit by financial uncertainty, while the latter was a youngster who has needed, and still needs, time to reach the top level.
City have been linked, as well as Spurs, with Swansea centre-back Joe Rodon, and while he is ranked among the best defenders in the division, strengthening the defence is not as big a concern after the arrival of Wesley Fofana.
Also, City have now submitted their squad for the Europa League group stages, so any further arrivals would not be able to feature in the European games, while any signing would also prompt a decision over who to cut from the Premier League squad, with enough first-team players at the club to comfortably fill the 25 places already.
Clubs needed for Benkovic and James
Fofana’s arrival and Daniel Amartey’s re-emergence boosts City’s centre-back options with Caglar Soyuncu, Jonny Evans and Wes Morgan also in the senior set-up.
Rodgers has also used Justin and Christian Fuchs as the wide players in a back three.
Add that up and game-time for Filip Benkovic looks unlikely.
Playing in the odd fixture and representing City’s Under-23s is not going to kickstart the Croatian’s stuttering development, so consistent football elsewhere is preferable.
Speaking at the start of the month, Rodgers said: “Filip needs game-time, but of course it’s just waiting to see if there’s an opportunity for him to do that.
“He’s training very well. It’s just going to be really about getting some experience and playing under pressure. We’ll wait to see if anything comes in for him.”
It is much the same situation for midfielder Matty James, but rather his need for pitch-time comes after another injury-hit spell.
On the bench for the final five games of last season, James has established his fitness, but now needs somewhere to show it.
“Matty’s been in a great vein of fitness,” Rodgers said. “He had a slight issue with his calf a few weeks back, but he’s back training now.
“If clubs are looking for a midfield player that has a view of the game, a great understanding of the game and who is an incredible professional, and who’s great in a changing room…
“Matty needs some games now to get up to full speed but it’s certainly no hardship having Matty around because he’s a fantastic guy and a great footballer.”
Neither Benkovic nor James were named in City’s Europa League squad and may struggle for a place in the Premier League 25 too.
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Decision over Dewsbury-Hall
Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall’s future was dependent on signings, Rodgers said earlier in the season, and with no midfielders arriving, the homegrown talent may have a role to play.
His inclusion in the Europa League squad further suggests that.
But it’s not a definitive indication he will be staying. Because of the rules on academy-trained players, it is not the case that Dewsbury-Hall is taking the place of another player. If he was left out, City simply would have had one more gap left empty.
And there is Championship interest in the 22-year-old, so City may yet think that it is beneficial to his development to get him more regular game-time than could be offered at the King Power Stadium.
More youngsters out
City have already loaned out eight members of their development squad, and more could head out before Friday’s deadline.
Those that have left so far are among the older players under Steve Beaglehole’s tutelage, with City keen to get those in their early 20s experience of the senior game.