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Despite the Silva saga, Leicester City already have a gem in Vicente Iborra

Tuesday 12th September 2017
Just 14 seconds stopped Sporting Lisbon centre midfielder Adrien Silva's transfer to Leicester City, much to the dismay of the club's supporters following the departure of Danny Drinkwater. But let's not forget about Vicente Iborra who has made the transfer.

In the midst of an ongoing saga, it is easy to forget that Foxes boss Craig Shakespeare has already brought in Spanish centre-defensive midfielder Vicente Iborra. The 29-year-old joined from La Liga team Sevilla FC on a four-year contract, early in the summer transfer window for a fee believed to be around £12million.

£12m was an excellent deal for what Iborra brings to the table

Vicente Iborra's playing career started out at Spanish side Levante in 2007, after progressing through the youth system. He swiftly established himself as a regular feature for Levante, going on to play in the defensive midfield position over a period of six years.

When he started to add goals to his game with seven strikes in the 2012/13 season, fellow La Liga team Sevilla FC became interested in signing Iborra, and so, that summer, Iborra left Levante to join Sevilla.

Over the period of four years at Sevilla, Iborra would go on to clock up more than 150 appearances, 30 goals, and captain the club to three UEFA Europa League triumphs. He also played a hand in Sevilla reaching the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League in 2016/17 - Iborra played against Leicester at the King Power Stadium where Sevilla's campaign came to an end.

Fast forward to the present, Iborra now has a new venture in hand in England, with Premier League club Leicester City.

What can Vicente Iborra bring to Craig Shakespeare's side? 

Vicente Iborra will add height and strength to Leicester's midfield. Standing at 6ft 3in, he is a formidable figure in the centre of the park and will be an asset in both defensive and offensive set piece situations for Leicester.

Under Craig Shakespeare, Leicester's set pieces have become much more innovative and having another tall figure inside the box to aim for, this will make the Foxes an even more dangerous proposition for opposing teams to defend against.

Iborra is composed in possession, and his cool head in midfield will be just what Leicester need especially when defending a lead. When in front, Leicester tend to sit back and defend, but they also frequently give the ball away while doing so, inviting more pressure from the opposition.

Iborra's influence might just be able to calm things down and help the team retain better possession of the ball; in turn, allowing his team-mates to have more confidence to move higher up the pitch.

Whilst his natural position is to sit in front of the defence, Iborra isn't afraid to get forward when opportunities arise. Iborra has scored seven in each of his last three La Liga campaigns, and it's rare to find a defensive midfielder who is willing to push forward and offer an attacking threat as well.

Iborra's versatility means he can play in a number of positions. He has previously been known to play as an attacking midfielder, centre-back and even as an emergency striker.

A solution for Adrien Silva's absence

Leicester's start to the 2017/18 season hasn't been easy. Whilst they've beaten Brighton at home, they've lost each of their matches against Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea. Moving forward, Iborra could be the solution for Leicester's woes away from home, particularly against top six sides.  

It's clear to see the Foxes could've done with new signing Vicente Iborra early on this season, but he hasn't been able to feature due to fitness and a groin injury.

When Vicente Iborra is ready, however, he will be a valuable player for manager Craig Shakespeare this season. Iborra is one of the positive signings for the club to focus on, despite the frustration of the Adrien Silva saga.
Alex Waterfield

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