Leonardo Ulloa is not the typical striker for whom Manchester United would pay an extravagant fee to attract his services and at 28 years of age, he is also unlikely to command the attention of Real Madrid or Barcelona as potential investment but he is already proving to be one of more significant purchases of the summer transfer window. His brace against Manchester United in Leicester’s 5-3 triumph added to his three previous Premier League goals this season for a striker who appears capable of netting at any level of football.
When newly promoted Leicester City signed Ulloa from Brighton during the summer for a reported £8 million transfer fee, it was reckoned to be gamble on a player with an unproven ability in top flight football. Yet the Argentinian forward claimed 14 league goals for Brighton in the Championship last season and during the Spanish Segunda Division campaign of 2011-12, he scored 28 goals in 38 league games for Almeria.
Ulloa has never been capped at international level as he plied his trade at lower league football but his goal poaching ability has never been questioned in an era when other strikers with a similar goal ratio have commanded transfer fees far in excess of that paid by Leicester City.
When Manchester United entered the field on Sunday to play Leicester, Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney, Angel di Maria and Radamel Falcao were all included within their starting eleven. Although Falcao is officially a loan player, the size of his loan fee for one season exceeds that of the expenditure of the Foxes for the permanent of signing Ulloa.
Not that Pearson and Leicester were bothered as they overcome a 3-1 deficit to beat Louis van Gaal’s expensively acquired team by the 5-3 margin. Yet Ulloa was not the only striker tasked with proving his ability against the apparent elite of the Premier League.
James Vardy enjoyed a prolific spell with fifth tier team Fleetwood before joining Leicester City and netted 16 league goals in a productive Championship campaign last season. He also claimed a goal on Sunday as did David Nugent from the penalty spot and he is a forward desperate to prove his worth at the top level after failing to build on his earlier promise at both Portsmouth and Burnley in the Premier League.
Pearson has also added the vastly experienced Esteban Cambiasso from Inter Milan to his midfield in a move which could yet pay dividends for a squad unaccustomed to playing regular top flight football.
Leicester may not finish in the top six of the Premier League at the end of the season but for a squad containing several players eager to show their capabilities at this level, their more illustrious opponents will need to be aware that the Foxes are a determined team with no fear of reputations.