Scout Report – Andre Almeida
Claude Puel watched Andre Almeida when he led Lisbon giants Benfica to a 5-1 win at Tondela, which clearly suggests that Leicester City are hoping to land him this January for a £6million fee. The player might want to leave his boyhood club considering the fact that his side are off the pace in the title race this time around and that Puel is an admirer of his skills. Previously too, the Foxes have invested in talent from Portuguese clubs, some of them including Islam Slimani and Adrien Silva. He could provide some good cover as Leicester are in good form, fighting for the top-6 spot.
More On The Player
The Portuguese played for the youth setup of Loures, Sporting CP, Alverca and Belenenses. He then joined the senior team of Belenenses in 2009, where he made 20 appearances that season. The following season too, he managed to feature 22 times, twice stamping his authority on the score sheet. In 2011, he was signed by Benfica and since then, has made 150 appearances for the Portuguese giants and has scored on one occasion.
After being loaned out to Uniao Leiria, he came back at the end of that season(2011-2012) to star for Benfica. He has also been a part of the Portugal U-18, U-19, U-21 teams and he made 30 appearances altogether and went on to find the back of the net thrice. For the senior team, he has had 8 caps, the latest one in 2015. Some of his honours include the Primeira Liga, the silverware that he has been tasting for the past four seasons in a row, Taça de Portugal (2 times) and Taça da Liga (4 times).
What Would He Add To The Club
Almeida can offer a lot on the wings, as he gets forward with conviction and delivers with precision. He is strong in the air and can often outjump any opposition player. Defensively, he sticks to his line, blocks shots when in a narrow position and wins headers with ease. Almeida barely switches off or gives any space. Very alert and disciplined, the 27-year-old is at his peak and can add a lot to any team. Also to mention, he can play as a midfielder too, if not as a full-back. The Portuguese international is very direct and already has 2 goals and 3 assists to his name this season.
Worth The Money
Leicester City could probably place bids for a centre-back as Wes Morgan is just getting older. At 35, the ex-champions desperately need a man to lead the defence. Christian Fuchs is 31 and still has a couple of years left in him for sure. They have found a prospect in Ben Chilwell, an able full-back, full of energy at 21. But if Almeida is signed to play at right-back, he could be one heck of a signing for Leicester City, given the fact that Danny Simpson is their only right-back at the moment. Almeida’s experience, desire to win and pace can turn things around and help the Foxes dream bigger.