It can be argued that the poor recruitment which followed Leicester City FC’s title win wasted a chance to compete with England’s top six on a regular basis. However, a mix of steady recruitment and a development of young talent sees Leicester in their healthiest position since their miraculous season.
Leicester City FC Rising Again
James Maddison this week became the fourth foxes player to be called up to the England senior squad this season. Significantly, none of the four players are older than 25.
Maddison has been a star since arriving in July. He leads English midfielders in goals scored, assists and shots so far this season. At the age of just 21, Maddison will only continue to progress.
Progress is something which Ben Chilwell has shown this season. Another of the Foxes England players, the left-back has grown under Claude Puel. His high energy and improved final ball has made him a dangerous offensive weapon.
Leicester City FC also possesses an exciting talent in the form of Harvey Barnes. Barnes, 20, is currently on loan at West Brom. The winger has been thriving in the Championship, already scoring four times this season. His fine form has led to his inclusion in the latest England Under 21 squad.
Whilst Claude Puel still has many doubters, his work with young talent cannot be denied. Chilwell, Maddison and Demarai Gray have all improved under him, which bodes well for Barnes.
Key Players Tied Down
Despite the sale of Riyad Mahrez this summer, Leicester have made positive steps in retaining key players. Harry Maguire was kept during the summer in spite of persistent interest from Manchester United.
Over the last six months, Leicester have tied down Kasper Schmeichel, Maguire, Wilfred Ndidi and Jamie Vardy down to new long-term contracts. Whilst a contract is rarely seen through to its end, the moves are a sign of the player’s happiness at the club’s ambition.
Securing the spine of the side in this manner gives the team a stronger hand with which to resist future transfer offers.
Investment Off the Pitch
Leicester’s owners are in the process of obtaining planning permission for a new, state of the art training facility. The facility would be “Europe’s best” and help to advance the club to the next level.
The club’s owners are also planning on expanding the King Power Stadium. The stadium is sold out on a near weekly basis and land has been purchased to increase the capacity.
These are moves made possible by the club’s strong financial position. Though thanks largely to the extra income from the Premier League win and subsequent Champions League campaign, Leicester City FC also have a strong presence in Asia.
Leicester are in their strongest position since winning the league. Regardless of the short-term results, the club appear primed for long term success.
Their squad is deep in young talent and the club has a good success rate at improving young players. Furthermore, the core of the team is under contract for five or more years, providing stability and quieting transfer rumours.
The club’s financial strength leaves them in a healthy position to retain and acquire talent, as well as improving facilities.
The Leicester City FC board and fans can therefore reasonably expect a push for silverware and European football. Outside of the top six, seventh place appears wide open and there is no reason Leicester can’t secure it.
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