Reports out of France state that Premier League club Leicester City are interested in signing Stade Rennes midfielder Benjamin Bourigeaud to England. The Foxes are looking to make a move for the midfielder soon, as they look towards making their first signing of the summer.
Leicester City are in the market for a new midfielder, with star midfielder Youri Tielemans reportedly on his way out of the club in search for a better destination. Manager Brendan Rodgers is hoping to strengthen his squad, regardless of the Belgian midfielder’s decision, and has identified Bourigeaud as an ideal player to add quality and competition in his squad.
The Frenchman has just one year remaining on his contract, and it is unclear whether he will extend his contract. As a result, Leicester City are looking to pounce in, and lure the 28-year-old with a move to the Premier League. Bourigeaud has been an instrumental player in the Stade Rennais squad, playing for almost 4000 minutes in the 2021/22 season.
Leicester City had a poor 21/22 season as compared to their previous two seasons, and they made it into the top half of the league standing by the skin of their teeth. They suffered through a season riddled with injuries and inconsistent performances, and manager Brendan Rodgers is hoping to do much better in the 2022/23 season. Leicester City had two brilliant seasons under Rodgers in 19/20 and 20/21, just missing out on a UCL qualification in the former while winning the Community Shield and the FA Cup in the latter and guiding the club to 5th placed finishes in both seasons. Rodgers has impressed the Leicester fans with his team management, and they are hoping to see the club back him in the transfer market with significant funds.
Brendan Rodgers has made Bourigeaud as one of his top priorities for the new season, and is very keen on bringing the Frenchman to the King Power Stadium. The midfielder had a brilliant 21/22 season, which has enhanced his reputation and brought him attention from clubs across Europe. Bourigeaud scored an outstanding 11 goals and provided 13 assists in the league this season, and finished with 12 goals and 16 assists in 48 appearances in all competitions this season.
Benjamin Bourigeaud made it into the double figures for Ligue 1 goals and assists this season, with only Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe managing more assists than him. Other than Mbappe, he was arguably the best French player in the Ligue 1 this season. He showcased his talent and skills this season, as he led Stade Rennais to a very strong 4th placed finish in the league table, just 5 points adrift of Marseille in 2nd place.
The Frenchman has already impressed Leicester City scouts and Brendan Rodgers in their meeting in the Europa Conference League Round of 16 back in March, putting in a resilient display and scoring in their 2-1 win against the Foxes in the second leg. His goal gave Rennais a lifeline as they pulled the aggregate score back to 2-1, after losing the first leg 2-0, but Leicester managed to hold off the onslaught as they lost 2-1 on the night but went through to the next round with a scoreline of 3-2.
Among his many talents, is his versatility in the midfield. Although he is listed as a midfielder, Bourigeaud can play seamlessly across many positions in that area. He is very comfortable as a defensive midfielder or a central midfielder, but is equally good playing out wide as a right or left midfielder on the flanks. This ability is one of the most sought-after in Europe, and it is no surprise he has a list of suitors after him.
Bourigeaud likes to play long balls and his crosses into the box are pinpoint and always dangerous. His excellent vision helps him to pick out a teammate’s run behind the opposition backline with ease, and he can ping the ball from a deep midfield position effortlessly. He is very lethal from a dead-ball situation, and his freekicks have been likened to that of the legendary David Beckham. Leicester have lacked that killer edge from free-kicks of late, and Bourigeaud will give them that extra attacking venom. He also has exceptional defensive qualities, as he has shown in Ligue 1 countless times. Benjamin Bourigeaud has the ability to hold on to the ball well when pressed and is a very strong tackler off the ball. He can intercept opposition passes well, although that is one area which he can still improve in.
Benjamin Bourigeaud has different clubs like Lazio, AS Roma and Leeds United all after him in addition to Leicester City. At a rumoured fee of around £8 million, he is a steal and will undoubtedly improve any team he joins. The Frenchman has expressed an intent to ply his trade overseas after his dazzling season with Rennais, and it remains to see if Leicester City can fight off the competition to secure their first signing of the transfer window. Reports suggest that an official bid from the Foxes is imminent, and Leicester fans will be eager to see the club close the deal and bring Bourigeaud to the King Power Stadium.