Why Rachid Ghezzal is an excellent addition for Leicester City
The Algeria international has signed a four-year contract – and will link up once again with Leicester boss Claude Puel, who was in charge at Lyon when the winger was coming up through the ranks.
Ghezzal becomes the fifth new arrival this summer at the King Power Stadium after Jonny Evans, James Maddison, Ricardo Pereira and Danny Ward.
Ghezzal began his career at Lyon before moving to fellow Ligue 1 side Monaco at the start of last season. The forward made 33 appearances in 2017-18, including four in the Champions League, and scored two goals.
Playmaker Riyad Mahrez’s move to Manchester City earlier this summer had weakened Leicester’s attack ahead of the new campaign. It was inevitable Mahrez would make the switch to Manchester City after the Foxes denied his move in the winter transfer window. Following the Algerian’s departure, it was difficult for Puel to get a player to fill the void.
By signing Ghezzal, Puel has not only bolstered his attacking options but also has got a like-for-like Mahrez replacement. Ghezzal is a left-footed winger cut from the same cloth as compatriot Mahrez.
Ghezzal can play on either wing as well as in the no.10 role but he generally flourishes more when stationed on the right as it enables him to cut inside on his favoured left-foot, dodge past a couple of defenders and punch a shot on goal.
Ghezzal is quick, industrious, agile and possesses an exceptional technical ability. The 26-year-old is direct with his approach and while he isn’t blessed with electric pace, he is a winger who is an expert dribbler capable of being a thorn for best of defences. He is also a set-piece specialist and is a composed finisher in front of goal.
The Algerian’s great vision would be of so much aid for Jamie Vardy, and the England international’s penchant for making penetrating runs in behind the opposition’s defence would create more space for the Ghezzal to flourish. Ghezzal has 13 caps for Algeria and that underlines the quality that he will bring to the table at Leicester.
Following his move from Lyon to Monaco last season, Ghezzal didn’t quite live up to his standards but he is still a top quality player—one who would surely add a lot of zest and dynamism to Leicester’s play in the final third.
Due to his appetite for scoring goals, clever eye for a pass, unpredictability and versatility, Ghezzal represents a massive coup for the East Midlands outfit.