Leicester manager Nigel Pearson has offered high praise for the way Esteban Cambiasso has adapted to a relegation fight during his first year in English football.
Cambiasso has at club level become the most decorated player in Argentinian history, even winning more honours than Real Madrid legend Alfredo Di Stefano, over an illustrious career spanning 17 years.
But the 34-year-old has become entrenched in Leicester’s culture since arriving on a free transfer and even told reporters last month that helping the Foxes secure Premier League survival would feel like winning another piece of silverware.
“His impact is difficult to quantify but it’s been a very positive one, there’s no doubt about that,” said Pearson following Saturday’s 2-0 victory.
“If you take away the influence on other players and just look at his own performances, what he brings to the side in terms of his vision and game understanding, then I think he’s been a fantastic addition to our squad.
“Also where he takes an awful lot of credit is for someone with the CV he has, to embrace a relegation battle in the way he has done I think gives you an indication of his professional outlook on his role within the squad.”
Cambiasso is making Leicester wait over a new contract, with his current deal set to expire at the end of the season, as he waits to see how the campaign pans out. But Pearson would love to keep the 2010 Champions League winner.
“Of course I want him to stay but he’s already pointed out that he wants to wait until the end of the season and that’s fine. For sure we’d like to keep him,” said the Foxes boss.
Leicester were bottom of the table at the start of April but victories over West Ham United, West Bromwich Albion, Swansea, Burnley, Newcastle and now Ronald Koeman’s high fliers have seen them climb three points clear of the relegation zone.