According to Leicestershire Live, Leicester City have been linked with a move for Royal Antwerp youngster Aurelio Buta.
Buta, 22, rose through the ranks of Beira-Mar and Benfica’s youth system and was promoted to Benfica’s B team in 2016. After impressing with the Lisbon-based club’s reserve sides, Buta was brought on loan by Royal Antwerp in 2017 and made his move permanent the next season.
Initially, he struggled in Belgium after going under the knife for a meniscus problem on his right knee. But he has worked hard to get back to the team and is now a regular under Laszlo Boloni, manager of Royal Antwerp.
The right-back has been in fine form this season with 1 goal and 5 assists in 18 league games, while he managed 6 assists in 20 appearances the last term. Though Royal Antwerp have kept just 4 clean sheets so far, Buta has been phenomenal in his development.
Meanwhile, Brendan Rodgers’ side are 2nd in the Premier League, 10 points behind leaders Liverpool and are flying high this season. They have been excellent in this campaign and have won 12 of their 18 league games so far.
However, the Northern Irishman must strengthen his squad as they enter the tougher festive period and a lack of quality back-up would put them a step behind other teams who are also trying to move quickly to the top.
At the moment, the Foxes have players who can cover the right side of the defence in Ricardo Pereira and James Justin. The former FC Porto man has been the first choice for this spot and he has justified his inclusion in a brilliant way.
Youngster Justin is still in his development stage and has featured only twice this season in the league.
Therefore, Aurelio Buta would be an excellent choice as a backup for Pereira with the second half of the campaign yet to be played. The Foxes must take their chances with Buta, who has proven to be immense for the Belgian outfit.
An attacking right-back, Buta would be useful for the team while moving forward. He has been putting in well-timed crosses this season for his teammates and has the energy to burst with his speed.
This would be effective for Rodgers, who requires his wing-backs to constantly supply quality crosses to the strikers, just like Ben Chilwell is doing.
He is also known for his versatility as he can play as a winger and midfielder on the right side, in addition to his natural right-back position.
At 22, it is the right time for Aurelio Buta to step into the Premier League and with Leicester, he could potentially go on to establish himself in a few years’ time. Linking up with his compatriot at the King Power Stadium could help him adapt to the situation sooner.
Therefore, Brendan Rodgers must not hesitate to bring in a talent like Buta, who would not only be a back-up but can also start, thus helping in the rotation policy. Being valued at £5m, the Portuguese would be a good buy for the Foxes.
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