Why this out-of-favour Serie A star would be Leicester’s best bet to replace Maguire

Why Juventus defender Rugani could add strength to Leicester’s defence

According to Italian publication Calcio Mercato (h/t Leicestershire Live), Leicester City are likely to have an offer accepted for Juventus defender Daniele Rugani.

The 25-year old Italian has been out of favour most of the season, with the club announcing that they would be willing to accept a reasonable offer for him ahead of the January transfer window, the report adds.  

Juventus defender Daniele Rugani seen in action.
Juventus defender Daniele Rugani seen in action. (Getty Images)

Rugani has made just three appearances so far for the Turin giants this season, out of which two came during the Champions League and one in the Serie A.  

Juventus’s decision to sign young centre-back Matthijs de Ligt from Ajax last summer has left the 6ft 2in Italian completely out in the cold.

With his game time getting increasingly limited under new boss Mauricio Sarri, Juventus are now ready to offload the defender, who is surplus to their requirements.

Juventus summer signing Matthijs de Ligt.
Juventus summer signing Matthijs de Ligt. (Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester are looking to strengthen their defence with veteran Wes Morgan in the final year of his contract and young Filip Benkovic attracting interest from Championship side Derby.

The Foxes have been in terrific form this season, sitting comfortably at second place behind leaders Liverpool, thanks to a strong defence that has conceded just 14 goals in 18 league games.

Rodgers owes it all to his centre-back pairing of Jonny Evans and the young Caglar Soyuncu, who have formed a formidable partnership at the heart of Foxes’ defence.

Veteran defender Wes Morgan is in his final year of contract at Leicester City.
Veteran defender Wes Morgan is in his final year of contract at Leicester City. (Getty Images)

With the side clearly lacking defenders, it is imperative for the Foxes to land a new centre-back to keep their hopes of a title race intact.

Also, Rodgers’ failure to rope in a new face as a replacement for former centre-back Harry Maguire, who departed to Manchester United last summer, has made it even more salient.  

Having said that, Leicester could make a move for the experienced Rugani.

Former Leicester City defender Harry Maguire now plays for their league rivals Manchester United.
Former Leicester City defender Harry Maguire now plays for their league rivals Manchester United. (Getty Images)

After learning his trade with Italian side Empoli’s youth system, Rugani made a switch to Italian giants Juventus in 2013. However, he was soon sent back on loan to his former club in order to get more game time.

Rugani then turned out to be Empoli’s star defender, helping his side achieve promotion to the Serie A after finishing second in the Serie B that season. His impressive displays at the back for Empoli won him the 2013-14 Serie B Footballer of the Year award.

On his return, he went on to make 90 appearances for the Bianconeri, winning 4 Italian league titles to date. However, despite his talent, Rugani has had to play back-up to established defenders Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini, who were at their best during his early days.  

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Now, with de Ligt’s arrival and the emergence of another youngster Merih Demiral, Rugani has found himself way down the pecking order at Juventus.

Having fought for a starting place alongside top-class defenders, Rugani is nothing short of talent and knows exactly what it is to perform at the highest level.

Verdict

One of the major reasons for Leicester’s improved show this season has been their defence and it is clear that they lack depth. If they wish to continue performing at the highest level, they should soon secure the signature of the experienced Rugani.   

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Written by Siddharth Suresh

Hello folks, I am an avid football follower who likes to read, report and play the world's most beautiful game. My other hobbies include writing poetry, traveling and exploring new cultures.
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