Barren midfield, Maresca raid, Fatawu hitch – nightmare transfer window Leicester City must avoid

If Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall leaves this summer, Leicester City have to replace him
-Credit: (Image: David Rogers/Getty Images)

The transfer window is officially open and so gives lift off to two-and-a-half months of speculation and gossip, and perhaps the odd done deal.

There’s plenty that could happen at Leicester City, but also a fair amount that might not, with Enzo Maresca dampening expectations over a summer spending spree before he departed, pointing to a “low-key” window. But, City need at least a few deals to get them to a place where they can fight for Premier League survival.

If City get to September with a squad that the fanbase is confident can achieve a 17th-placed finish or higher, then the recruitment team have done their job. But what would a bad job look like? Well, here we’ve laid out the pessimistic view of City’s window. If they can avoid all of these four scenarios then they’ll have a fighting chance at safety, even if the rest of the window doesn’t go to plan.

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Dewsbury-Hall leaves without replacement

The departure of the reigning player of the season constitutes a nightmare for nearly any side. That’s not quite the case at City, where the possibility of Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall leaving has been clear for so long that fans have to come to terms with it. It’s too real to be a nightmare.

Nobody wants Dewsbury-Hall to leave, not even the midfielder himself, but for the financial health of the club, it may be the best move. The profit made from his sale could help City avoid further PSR trouble and/or fund new signings to create a better squad.

But there has to be an attempt to replace him in the transfer market. That was the one transfer demand made by Enzo Maresca before he upped sticks, that any key player sold for financial reasons was replaced by a new signing.

Because City can’t lose the combined 26 league goals and assists Dewsbury-Hall recorded last season and expect to be as good a side. If he goes, a decent fee needs to be spent on replacing him. If that doesn’t happen, it would leave City's midfield barren and leave the team in serious trouble.

PSR problems remain unsolved

City’s season is going to be influenced by off-field matters. If the independent panel agrees with the Premier League that City have been in breach of PSR, they face a points deduction. How severe their punishment is will have a big say on their fight for survival.

So what City don’t want is the risk of a second sanction. They’re already up against it. They can’t make life harder for themselves by failing to comply with the EFL’s financial regulations this month, putting themselves at risk of another points deduction later in the campaign.

They have to make that money through player sales and they have to do it before June 30. They have a fortnight to go.

Hermansen poached by Chelsea

As well as Dewsbury-Hall, there are a number of City players who could be targeted by the Premier League’s wealthier clubs, perhaps looking to capitalise on their need to avoid PSR breaches. Mads Hermansen, aged 23 and having proven himself to be an excellent all-round modern goalkeeper, is one of those who is likely to attract attention.

Any move away for Hermansen would be deflating for City supporters. They feel they have a goalkeeper who can follow in his countryman Kasper Schmeichel’s footsteps and don the gloves at the King Power Stadium for years to come.

Again, they know it’s a possibility. But the worst scenario is that Maresca returns and nabs him for Chelsea. Seeing the manager leave for a bigger club was a little difficult, but it would be much worse if he then came back and stole one f City’s best players. If a club makes a bid for Hermansen that’s too good to turn down, let’s hope it’s not Chelsea.

Fatawu deal breaks down

This is not meant to alarm. There is so far nothing to suggest that there will be any hitches in Abdul Fatawu’s permanent move to City. Sporting Lisbon are acting as if it’s done, and while City are keeping quiet for now, the transfer is expected to go through without a hitch once July rolls around.

But while it’s not done, there are always going to be those doubts that another side could swoop in, or City’s finances could end up blocking a move. It would be a disaster.

Fatawu was perhaps the most viscerally thrilling player to wear the City shirt last season, the 20-year-old delighting with his dribbling, defensive commitment, and his end product. He was getting better throughout the season, and at such a young age, has an extremely bright future.

If the £14.5m deal goes through, City fans can be confident their club has done at least one brilliant bit of business this summer. If it doesn’t happen, there’s going to be a lot of glum faces the day he turns out for a different club.

Which do you feel would be the worst outcome here for City? Let us know in the comments section below.