Thursday, February 2, 2023

Leicester City Season Preview: What Comes Next For The Foxes?

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Snehanjan Banerjee
Snehanjan used to a former columnist at The 4th Official. Fan of KK, Cricket and Liverpool (in no particular order).

It has been around three months since Leicester City clinched the Premier League title and many would still find it hard to believe. We are living in a world where Leicester City would be seeded into Pot 1 in the Champions League. Hard to digest right? But, that’s what Claudio Ranieri and his boys managed to do the last term defying all the odds. With the new season set to kick off this weekend, we would probably be wondering what comes next from the Foxes who absolutely stunned the whole world last campaign.

Leicester City are in a place from where they can build on their immense success achieved last season or else they could bottle it in a fashion to prove that the last season was nothing but a fluke. With Champions League football, the Foxes job will be much difficult considering the monumental expectations that will be heaped on their shoulders.

Claudio Ranieri had a busy summer bolstering his squad in order to live up to the hype they created for themselves the last term. The Foxes reinforced in each department and there could still be a few fireworks left from them before the transfer window slams shut.

Leicester City kick off their new Premier League season with a seemingly easy outing against newcomers Hull City at the KC Stadium. They opened their season with a 2-1 loss against Manchester United in the FA Community Shield and will be looking to bounce back by hammering the Tigers on Saturday in the Premier League curtain-raiser this season.

Transfers

In

Nampalys Mendy – Nice, £13m

Ron-Robert Zieler – Hannover 96, £2.6m

Luis Hernandez – Sporting Gijon, free

Raul Uche Rubio – Rayo Vallecano, undisclosed

Ahmed Musa – CSKA Moscow, undisclosed

Bartosz Kapustka – Cracovia, £7.5m

musa

Out

N’Golo Kante – Chelsea, £32m

Andrej Kramaric – Hoffenheim, £7.6m

Joe Dodoo – Rangers, undisclosed

Jonny Maddison – Yeovil, free

Paul Konchesky – released

Mark Schwarzer – released

Jacob Blyth – Motherwell, free

Ryan Watson – Barnet, free

Dean Hammond – Sheffield United, free

Jonny Maddison – released

Harry Panayiotou – released

Callum Elder – Brentford, loan

Transfer fees courtesy- Sky Sports

A review of the transfers made

Claudio Ranieri has done a great job this summer. The Italian made strong reinforcements to each and every department adding both depth and quality to the team. One of Leicester City’s key players N’Golo Kanté left King Power this summer to join rivals Chelsea. Meanwhile, Jamie Vardy’s popularity among the fans will take a further boost as the English international rejected a move to Arsenal despite the Gunners triggering his release clause.

Nampalys Mendy was brought in to fill in the Kanté-sized void in Leicester midfield and it was a brilliant move from Ranieri. Ahmed Musa and Bartosz Kapustka adds a lot of quality to the Foxes while Luis Hernandez provides younger legs to the ageing defence of Huth and Morgan. Leicester also signed a quality competition for keeper Kasper Schmeichel with Ron-Robert Zieler from Hannover.

Predicted tactics

Ranieri is unlikely to make any changes to the 4-4-2 formation that brought success at the club last campaign. With Champions League football, there will be plenty of rotations in the team. The Foxes now have a deep enough team to cope up with the congested fixtures coming their way. The strongest starting XI includes Schmeichel behind the back four of Simpson, Huth, Morgan and Fuchs. Mendy and Drinkwater should be the first choice pairing in midfield while Riyad Mahrez and Marc Albrighton are likely to be the first choice wide players although Kapustka will provide a strong competition to the latter. Jamie Vardy and Ahmed Musa should be the first-choice pair up front.

Expectations

Expectations will be sky high from the Foxes this campaign but expecting them to defend their title would be a foolish ask. A top-four finish will mean a strong follow-up season for Ranieri’s boys if they can put a good showing in the Champions League and qualify for at least the round of 16.

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