Friday, November 24, 2017

Could Leicester be set for a mass exodus?

Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel is just one of the Foxes players being linked with summer moves

Leicester City have enjoyed a rollercoaster couple of years in the Premier League.

First, they beat relegation and then they won the Premier League title, before this season which looks set to end in a midtable finish.

A lot has changed at Leicester in recent years and it seems that the Foxes playing squad could be much-changed next season. According to the Daily Star, a number of the Leicester squad could leave the club this summer.

Players have less incentive to stay

Last summer Leicester held onto to a number of their best players because they had just been crowned champions. Winning the title meant Champions League football, which was a big incentive to stay with the Midlands club.

However, this season the Foxes have resumed a more realistic place in the English football pecking order. That means there will be no European adventure, while a title challenge looks highly unlikely next season.

Next season is more likely to see the side from the Midlands attempting to finish in the top-half of the table. That is unlikely to be a great incentive to the team’s star players to stay in the Midlands with the Foxes.

Big players linked with exits

According to the Star, Kasper Schmeichel, Riyad Mahrez, Islam Slimani, Ahmed Musa and Leonardo Ulloa could all leave the club this summer. Some of those aforementioned players will be missed, but some will not that is for sure.

Winger Riyad Mahrez was being heavily linked with a move away last summer. However, it has been rumoured that the Algerian was told that he could move this summer. French club PSG are reportedly willing to pay £35million for the star.

The likes of Tottenham, Manchester City and even Barcelona are also being linked with last season’s Player of the Year. Mahrez has not experienced the best of campaigns. However, that does not seem to have deterred prospective buyers.

Schmeichel has been one of Leicester’s most outstanding players for the past few seasons. The Danish international is now regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in the English top-flight.

His performances have not gone unnoticed. Everton, Liverpool and Manchester City are all believed to be interested in signing the Foxes number one. His dad’s former club Manchester United would also be interested if David De Gea finally completed a move to Real Madrid.

It seems the goalkeeper would have a fair amount of options if he did leave the Midlands. It seems unlikely that he will stay with the Foxes if any of the big-name clubs made offers, even if striker Jamie Vardy turned down a move to Arsenal last summer.

Club-record signing Slimani only joined the Foxes from Sporting last summer for a fee of £29.7million. The Algerian has enjoyed mixed fortunes at the club and West Ham are believed to be interested in signing him in the summer.

Musa has struggled for form and first team football at the King Power since a £16million move from CSKA Moscow last summer. It seems doubtful that many Foxes fans would miss the Nigerian striker if he left.

Big summer for the club

The Foxes are odds of 2/5 to finish in the top-half of the Premier League table this season. However, the season is all but over and the Foxes face a big summer ahead.

The champions have yet to appoint a permanent boss. Current caretaker Craig Shakespeare is the favourite for the job. He is also saying the right things about keeping the club’s best players this summer.

A mass exodus from the Foxes would not be a major surprise. It is only to be expected now they can no longer offer Champions League football next season. The way football is now only the big English clubs can keep their players, and even then if the likes of Real Madrid or Barcelona come calling they usually sign the play they want.

Hopefully, over the summer Leicester can get back on an even keel and keep the core of their squad. It would be sad to see the Foxes drift back towards being a team that just stave off relegation after their wonderful title win last season.

Will there be a mass exodus from Leicester this summer?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Nugent


David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The 33-year-old has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.

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