This summer, the greatest story of the last couple of decades in football – Leicester City winning the league – took place. Since then, though, it’s all become a little less enjoyable. From the ranging transfer speculation over the likes of Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez to the actual departure of N’Golo Kante, the future for Leicester looks decisively bleak in some quarters.
However, much as the Foxes were written off all of last season, could they have something a bit more engaging up their sleeves for 16/17?
So far, the Foxes have bought well. The signing of Bartosz Kaputska, a start of the Euros from Cracovia, bodes well for the future. Add in Ahmed Musa from CSKA Moscow and you have two very impressive additions to the frontline. With the likes of Mahrez still there and the youngster Demarai Gray as backup, Leicester look good upfront. With Marc Albrighton being a very solid option last year, too, the club looks set to have pace, ability and goals throughout.
In midfield, they have replaced Kante with the similarly impressive Nampalys Mendy. Mendy offers a solid solution for that gaping hole in midfield and should make an impressive ally for the likes of Andy King and Danny Drinkwater.
When you look and see they have added Ron-Robert Zieler from Hannover 96, too, you can see that Leicester have bought well so far. The squad is certainly stronger than it was last year, even if it is a Kante down. That being said, there are causes for concern.
Too Much, Too Soon?
The Leicester project has naturally picked up pace since the title win last year. However, could this be too much too soon? Will the addition of extra European games limit the potential for growth and improvement that is so needed this year for the Foxes?
It’s hard to say – at the moment, we think they might struggle with the added games. This comes down the fact that even though they are stocked in attack and have a strong midfield, they lack the depth. Come December time they’ll have played more games and will probably feel it in their legs.
Add this into the fact that many parts of the team still lack true depth, then we could be seeing some rather significant issues with the club in the months to come. There’s lots that has to change and be improved in terms of depth, as the club lacks a huge amount of the tools needed to fight it out on both fronts.
However, it’s going to be hard to even be in the top ten next year for lots of clubs and Leicester may have the same issues. We expect huge competition this year and Leicester might have to settle for the mediocrity of mid-table to Europe League challenges this year.
Of course, this time last year we all thought Leicester would probably go down – it’s going to be an interesting season, regardless.