Three years have passed, but the Leicester City miracle of 2016 is still hard to believe. After finishing 14th the season before, the Foxes sensationally won the Premier League title. Their story was one which seemed like a fantasy but turned into reality as the season progressed. Since then, no other side apart from the ‘top six’ have threatened to challenge said ‘top six’. If all goes to plan, Leicester could give them a run for their money in the upcoming season.
Claudio Ranieri was the manager three years ago, but the much adored Italian has left the club. So have many players of the title-winning run. The midfield duo of N’Golo Kante and Danny Drinkwater are at Chelsea, and the whole back four has been revamped. Riyad Mahrez, the hub of the attack back then is in Manchester where he captured his second Premier League title. The good thing is that Leicester have replaced them with great individuals.
Kasper Schmeichel is still there in goal, but the defense in front of him is totally new. Harry Maguire and Jonny Evans form a secure pairing at the heart of that defense. Full-backs Ben Chilwell and Ricardo Pereira are one of the best in the league on both sides of the pitch. Manager Brendan Rodgers needs dynamic players at full-back, and he has got them. In midfield, Leicester have riches like few other squads in the Premier League.
Wilfred Ndidi was signed to replace Kante, and he has developed into an excellent midfielder. Along with the Nigerian, Rodgers has both Nampalys Mendy and Hamza Choudhary to call upon when needed. After a successful loan spell last season, Youri Tielemans has made the move to Leicester permanent. The Foxes signed the Belgian for a record fee from Monaco, and he will be a regular fixture in midfield.
Aside from Tielemans, Ayoze Perez was also signed in the window. The former Magpie is an attacking midfielder who could play as a second striker behind Vardy. James Maddison is a similar player already in the ranks, and he will be crucial to Leicester’s chances as well. Aside from these names the likes of Demarai Gray, Marc Albrighton and Harvey Barnes are also there. All of them are useful players in their own right, and Rodgers has great depth in midfield and attack at his disposal.
Up front, Vardy will be a menace as usual for opposing defenses. Rodgers had less time to work with the squad last season, but they showed glimpses of what they can do. With the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea wading through troubled waters, Leicester could seize a great opportunity here.
Considering the financial gap between the top six of the Premier League and the rest, catching them is a tough task. But Leicester have a great chance with the squad they have next season. Some big teams are not in the best of the positions, and it will be fascinating to watch if they can maintain their elite status with the likes of Leicester knocking on the door.