Foxes hunt for hard workers ahead of European excursion
LONDON – Leicester City head of recruitment Steve Walsh has said the newly crowned Premier League champions will focus on signing players with a strong work ethic in the close season to bolster a squad preparing to fight on two fronts.
The Foxes romped to a maiden league title with two games to spare, outperforming their rivals due largely to a willingness to outrun the opposition and Walsh said a focus on strength of character would continue to underpin their recruitment policy.
“It’s about making sure the players you bring in are strong of character, and can do the tasks we ask them to do when we haven’t got the ball,” Walsh, one of two assistants to manager Claudio Ranieri, told the BBC.
“We have a DNA. For me, it’s not just about their ability on the ball. It’s what they’re prepared to give to the team when we haven’t got it.
“Obviously, the character of the person shines through. If you’re prepared to put in a shift when we haven’t got the ball, that says a lot about you in terms of your work ethic.”
Walsh, who was instrumental in signing Riyad Mahrez and N’Golo Kante from the French second tier, acknowledged that Leicester needed to strengthen with an eye on the Champions League next season, but insisted the club would not deviate from the recruitment strategy that had served it so well in the past.
“I think we’re going to need more personnel,” he added. “We’ll go from playing one game a week this year to two games a week. That, in itself, says you need more personnel on the ground.
“But we’re in the Champions League now. It’s fantastic for Leicester to actually be in the Champions League.
“If you just needed to get all the best players, talent scouting would be easy, wouldn’t it? You’ve got to look at the players maybe through different eyes and see what they can achieve. That’s the skill.” -Reuters