Leicester sign Wout Faes from Reims on five-year-deal
Photo by Plumb Images/Leicester City FC via Getty Images

Leicester City have signed their first outfield player of the summer transfer window, with Wout Faes joining the club from Stade Reims.

The centre-back has signed a five-year contract at the King Power Stadium for a fee thought to be in the region of £15 million.

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The one-cap Belgium international replaces Wesley Fofana, who left for Chelsea on Wednesday after a summer of speculation for a reported £70 million.

  • Who is Wout Faes?

Faes started his career alongside Foxes midfielder Youri Tielemans at Anderlecht, but did not make an appearance for his boyhood club, leaving on loan twice before switching permanently to KV Oostende.

The 24-year-old joined the French club in 2020 from the Belgian Pro League side, and went on to make 75 appearances, scoring five times.

He only missed one game throughout all of last season, and even captained the side on numerous occasions.

His contributions to the Red and Whites season earned him the club’s Player of the Season award as well as a maiden appearance for his country, again alongside Tielemans as well as Timothy Castagne in the 6-1 victory against Poland.

Faes is a smart defender who is unlikely to throw himself into tackles unnecessarily, with a calm and disciplined approach.

He is not the biggest defender, and is not brilliant in the air, but the Belgian is great at reading the game, as he compares favourably across the top five European leagues for interceptions and clearances.

Compared to the outgoing Fofana, Faes is a different player, he will not like to play from the back too much, but will make up for that with his out and out defending.

He also brings an end to a summer of defensive uncertainty, his long contract does not just steady the ship in the short term, the plan is evident for Faes to be in the heart of the Leicester defence for many years to come.

He is well-liked by the Reims fans and, if social media reaction is to be believed, they are sad to see him go, and that should bode well for Foxes fans.

It may seem to some that Leicester are working on the cheap by signing a player for about a fifth of what they received for Frenchman Fofana, but this is something they have always done.

They hope to be able to add value to Faes, as they did previously with Fofana and Harry Maguire.

  • What has the new signing had to say?

“I spoke to [Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers] on the phone before coming here and when I got here,” the new man told the club’s website.

“It felt straight away familiar in a good, positive way, so I’m very happy to be able to train and play under this coach.”

He has a great relationship with childhood friend Tielemans, and Faes said that knowing him and the rest of the Belgian contingent at the East Midlands club will help him to settle in.

“It’s always easier when you know some guys already so that’s a plus for me,” he said.

“When I came in this morning and I saw some [of the other] guys, they were friendly straight away.

“They welcomed me like I have been here for a long time. This is very nice to see it happen like this.”

Talking about his playing style, Faes said: “I try to be a leader on the pitch, this is something that marks my game.

“After, I think my positional game is quite strong and I like to be strong in duels.

This is very important for a centre-back I think. As I said, for me, this is a dream step to come to Leicester.

“I’m progressing year after year, and I hope to continue doing the same here. All the facilities and all the knowledge is here to help me to get even better.

“I think I will have to work hard and then it will go this way.”

Leicester face Manchester United tonight at the King Power, but the new signing is ineligible to feature, meaning he could make his debut on the south coast against Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday.

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