Leicester should consider Palace man for his efficient shooting
A spellbinding two months at the back end of the 2014/15 Premier League season ensured Leicester City fought back from sitting bottom at Christmas, to finish 14th and remain in the division against both history and the odds.
Through April and May, Nigel Pearson’s men took advantage of a relatively thorn-free schedule to win seven of their nine games. They secured a point against Sunderland on the penultimate day of the season and were only defeated by title-winners Chelsea during their supremely-timed purple patch.
Of course, none of that matters for much now. With a fresh new campaign fast approaching, their impressive heroics are long forgotten. Leicester are rated by Ladbrokes as one of the seven most likely teams to be relegated this season, although their 9/2 odds suggest a significantly securer term is in store when compared to 7/10 favourites Watford.
Constant improvement in transfer windows will be required to turn Leicester into a more stable Premier League side and Pearson has already made moves this summer in signing Austrian left-back Christian Fuchs on a free transfer.
As the manager will be acutely aware, that signing alone cannot be the bulk of the club’s business this offseason and one area that needs drastic attention, if it hasn’t already received any, is finding more accurate shooters.
The Foxes’ season in front of goal was a curious one. They performed quite poorly as far as shooting on target was concerned, managing to work the goalkeeper with 29.3 percent of their total shots, the 17th worst mark in the division.
However, when Leicester players did manage to hit the target, they impressed. Scoring with 10.1 percent of their total shots meant that the Midlands club ranked eighth in the top flight in that department.
In theory then, if the club can acquire a couple of players that shoot on target more often, they stand a better chance of scoring a goal, which in turn gives the club more of a chance to win games.
Leicester’s new England international, Jamie Vardy, was the Premier League’s most accurate shooter last season, of all forwards in the league to have attempted more than 30 shots on goal. However, the 28-year-old was the only Foxes player to register a mark above the forties (47.9) in that category.
Leonardo Ulloa finished the campaign with a 36.7 on-target percentage, while teammates Andrej Kramaric and Dave Nugent both hovered around the 30 percent area, which ranks them in the bottom-third of the division’s forwards.
So, with the need to improve their accuracy in front of goal clear, a look at one surprising, but available name may be worthwhile.
It’s believed that Alan Pardew is willing to let the striker whose goals fired the Eagles to Championship promotion in 2012/13 go this summer in order to fund improvements elsewhere. If that is the case, then the Foxes must look to take advantage.
If a younger model is sought instead of the 31-year-old, however, then Lorient’s Jordan Ayew could be the answer.
The Ghanaian scored a career-best 12 league goals for Les Merlus, but crucially fired 42.8 percent of his total shots on target.
His 48 total shots on target last season put him level with Carlos Tevez from the top five European leagues, and only trailed some of the planet’s most revered front men, including Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Zlatan Imbrahimovic, in that department.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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