Relegation haunted Leicester City have outfoxed title chasing Chelsea.
That’s right. Newly-promoted Leicester have beaten Premier League giants Chelsea to the signing of highly-rated Croatian striker Andrej Kramaric.
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The 23-year-old forward has agreed to join Leicester for a club record fee of over $15 million, as he preferred to play a key role in Leicester’s charge away from relegation instead of being used as a bit-part player at Chelsea. Only time will tell if that’s a wise choice from the Croatian international.
His stats suggest he could have quite the impact at the King Power Stadium. Kramaric has scored 21 goals in 18 appearances in the Croatian top flight for HNK Rijeka, 28 goals in 30 all competitions for club and country. and was also named as Croatia’s best player in 2014. Although he has passed a medical and has agree to personal terms with Leicester, Kramaric must now wait for a work permit to be granted before signing the three-and-half-year deal.
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Speaking at a press conference on Thursday ahead of Leicester’s game against Aston Villa, Kramaric will not be available until his work permit is squared away, Foxes boss Nigel Pearson had the following to say.
“He has represented Croatia at every level and speaks volumes of the lad that he is prepared to come to us in the situation we are in at the moment,” Pearson said. “It is really important for us to strengthen.”
So, Leicester look to have strengthened their offensive options considerably as they look to steer themselves away from the bottom of the Premier League standings and stave off relegation. Leonardo Ulloa is their top scorer so far this season with seven PL goals but their three other recognized strikers, Jamie Vardy, David Nugent and Chris Wood, have managed just four goals between them so far. Leicester are currently four points from safety but a recent upturn in results has seen them beat Hull City, draw with Liverpool and dispatch Newcastle United in the FA Cup.
Kramaric must believe in Leicester’s ability to stay up if he turned down Chelsea. Can the Croatian fire the Foxes to safety?