Gokhan Inler Joins Leicester City
- Inler signs three-year deal subject to Premier League, FA and international clearance
- Midfielder becomes City’s sixth summer signing
- 31-year-old brings wealth of European and international experience to Leicester
Leicester City have completed the signing of Switzerland national team captain Gökhan Inler from Italian club Napoli, subject to international clearance and receiving approval from the Premier League and the FA.
The vastly experienced midfielder, 31, joins the Foxes for an undisclosed fee and has signed a three-year-contract to become the latest edition to Claudio Ranieri’s squad. Inler will wear the No.33 shirt.
Inler’s 84 caps for Switzerland have included appearances at the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cup Finals, along with the 2008 UEFA European Championship Finals on home soil.
He has played 15 times in the UEFA Champions League for Napoli and FC Zurich, scoring memorably for the Italians in a last 16 tie at Chelsea in 2012.
His excellent range of passing and ability to read the game are well established on the European stage – skills Inler will be eager to put to the test in the new challenge that awaits him in the Barclays Premier League.
Subject to his registration being confirmed, Inler will be available to make his City debut this Saturday, when the Foxes look to maintain their flawless start to the 2015/16 season against Tottenham Hotspur at King Power Stadium.
Inler began his career in Switzerland with FC Basel and FC Aarau, the latter of which he made his debut for in 2005 before FC Zurich spotted his potential in 2006.
His stay in Zurich was short but successful, with two league titles to his name in a season and a half that saw him catch the eye of Udinese. He eventually signed for the Italian club in 2007. Back-to-back seventh placed finishes and a UEFA Cup campaign in Inler’s first two seasons marked them out as a success.
During Udinese’s UEFA Cup campaign, Werder Bremen knocked the Italians out at the quarter-final stage – a tie in which Inler found the net with a stunning 25-yard shot to add to his goal against Borussia Dortmund earlier in the tournament.
Across his four seasons for Udinese, Inler was one of the side’s most consistent performers and missed just 11 league games during that time.
His final campaign in Udine was arguably his most successful, as the team recovered from a bad start to surge to a fourth-placed finish and secure Champions League football – Inler’s displays once again central to that success.
That form inevitably won Inler plenty of admirers and in May 2011 it was Napoli that moved to secure his signature for a reported £10 million. He immediately picked up where he left off to eventually help the Naples side to a fifth placed finish and a Coppa Italia victory against Juventus.
Napoli also enjoyed a run to the last-16 of the Champions League, when they were beaten 5-4 on aggregate by eventual winners Chelsea – a game in which Inler added another long-range goal to send the game into extra-time.
That fifth place finish in the league was improved to second place in 2012/13 along with another third place the following campaign, while Inler also helped the team to a second Coppa Italia title in three years with a win over Fiorentina.
A cornerstone of the Swiss national team since his international debut in 2006, Inler has been his country’s captain since 2011.
He won the most recent of his 84 caps in a 2-1 win over Lithuania in June, during qualification for next year’s European Championship Finals in France.
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