Leicester City’s path to consistency


Liverpool have established their dominance over the Premier League, Manchester City’s squad prowess is evidently unbelievable, Chelsea’s team has been revitalised by Frank Lampard, Jose Mourinho, a specialist in winning is expected to live up to his reputation at Tottenham, and Manchester United and Arsenal have slowly but surely found their form.

So where does this leave Leicester City? Barring the incredible 2015-16 season which crowned Leicester champions, they’ve just about established themselves as a top-half team. Leicester was never expected to replicate their supremacy, however, there were hopes they would prove to be a club fighting for a top-six place every season.

These hopes never materialised, and now Leicester who sit third on the table would hope to stay in the top four come the end of the season. If this is accomplished, Leicester cannot afford to make the same mistakes they made after the 2015-16 season.

The current squad is visibly stronger than the 2015-16 squad, and Brendan Rodgers has developed a squad with the perfect synergy. The squad’s talent is characterised by youthful skill and flair through James Maddison, Çağlar Söyüncü, Youri Tielemans, Ben Chilwell, Wilfred Ndidi and Harvey Barnes.

Each one of those players is capable of being world-class and mastering their position. The drive in their midfield is second to none, with James Maddison and Youri Tielemans constantly impressing via their creativity and flawless technique. Wilfred Ndidi has been insurmountable and his steadiness allows for a free-flowing attack, and space for Maddison and Tielemans perform at their best.

What makes the squad even more impressive, is the balance the more experienced players provide, who seem to be playing at their peak. Kasper Schmeichel, Jonny Evans and Jamie Vardy have been instrumental to the club’s success this season. Further, Wes Morgan and Marc Albrighton have stepped in when required, both forming vital cogs in the wheel.

Schmeichel has kept ten clean sheets so far, the league’s second-highest. Further, the commanding aura he brings is reminiscent of what his father, Peter, offered to Manchester United back when they couldn’t stop winning.

Jonny Evans is playing the best football he’s ever played, as he supports Çağlar Söyüncü with his brilliant reading of the game and immaculate positioning, as opposed to the youthful ball-playing centre back, Söyüncü, who relies on his pace and physicality.

Jamie Vardy is feeding off the brilliance of Leicester’s midfield and wingers, and accompanied with his brilliant finishing, he has notched up 19 goals this season, the league’s highest scorer so far.

Leicester are almost certain to qualify for the Champions League next season, but what’s far more important for them is to maintain that level of consistency for years to come, which they failed to do following the 2015-16 campaign that shocked us all.

With the players that they possess Leicester should easily maintain their position for years to come, however, clubs with larger financial resources are bound to strengthen their sides. So, what can Leicester do to compete with the traditional “big six” clubs?

Hold on to their manager:

Brendan Rodgers is arguably the best British manager a club could get their hands on, and Leicester must ensure that they don’t let go of him irrespective of the money coming their way. He has paved the way for Leicester’s growth and it appears that he shares a special bond with his group of players.

Not turn into a selling club:

Talents like Maddison, Ndidi and Tielemans are hard to come by, and if Leicester let go of them, they would have to rebuild the core of their squad like they were forced to when they sold N’Golo Kanté, Riyad Mahrez and Harry Maguire.

For Leicester to establish themselves as a big club, which battles for a top four spot, fights for domestic silverware, and makes progress in Europe, they must ensure that they don’t become a “selling club” or a “what could have been” club.

Invest in the summer transfer window:

If Leicester manages to secure Champions League football this year, attracting talent will not prove to be much of a challenge. Although Leicester’s long-serving players are rightfully earning their spots in the starting line-up, it wouldn’t hurt to sign players who could compete for the same spot.

Kasper Schmeichel has been a faithful servant at Leicester, however, at 33, he probably has only a couple of solid years left in him. Kepa Arrizabalaga hasn’t had the best of seasons at Chelsea and the club definitely wouldn’t want to pay such high wages for a second-choice keeper. If the Spaniard is given a fresh chance at Leicester, he might prove his doubters wrong.

Jamie Vardy is aged 33 as well, and although he might be the top scorer in the Premier League currently, a replacement for him in the long term would help Leicester massively. Alfredo Morales, the striker at Rangers has been linked to Leicester for a while now, and Brendan Rodgers would develop him into a more refined player if he joined.


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