Monday, June 25, 2018

Should Leicester be considered EPL title challengers?

Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri is confident that his side will not implode like Chelsea did last season

Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri is confident that his side will not implode like Chelsea did last season

We all know Leicester’s underdog story now. The side from the Midlands came from nowhere to win the Premier League title.

It was a great story. However, now the hard part is for the Foxes to repeat that feat in the new campaign.

Looking at it on paper the Foxes have very little chance of repeating that title triumph of last season.

People said that about the Foxes last season though and they beat the odds.

No Chelsea repeat

Foxes boss Claudio Ranieri has claimed that his side will not implode like Chelsea did last season. The Italian told Sky Sports: “When I build something, it is never destroyed,”

“My philosophy is to watch your house, not other houses. It’s important what happens here. My house is very clean and very clear. Slowly, we try to build the first floor and the second floor. The foundation is very solid.

“I don’t know what happened (to Chelsea). They were the champions.”

Very clear, as always with the veteran Italian boss! He has no intentions of his house falling down this season, although the big bad wolves of Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea just have a say in the matter.

A mixed summer for Leicester

Leicester has enjoyed a mixed summer in the transfer market. The Foxes have stuck to living within their means in the transfer market. The side from the Midlands has brought in Ron-Robert Zieler, Luis Hernandez, Nampalys Mendy, Bartosz Kapustka and Ahmed Musa.

Leicester will be in need of those extra bodies added to the squad, as the Foxes will also have the Champions League to contend with in the new campaign.

The big departure from the club was defensive midfield enforcer N’Golo Kante, who moved to Chelsea for £32.5million. Kante will be missed, as he was one of the vital cogs of the Foxes midfield. The Frenchman intercepted the ball more times than any other player in the English top-flight last season.

His presence in the defensive midfield role helped the Foxes stay solid in defence, as they needed to dig in at times in the title run-in. Mendy has been brought in as a replacement and seems similar in style. He has big boots to fill in the Midlands, though.

Maybe the best bit of business the side from the Midlands have conducted this summer was keeping hold of star striker Jamie Vardy and winger Riyad Mahrez. Vardy was offered the chance to join Arsenal but signed a new deal with the club.

Mahrez has been constantly linked with a move to Arsenal, but the clubs owners have stated in the media that he will be staying with the Foxes.

A big blow off the field was the Foxes losing highly-rated scout Steve Walsh, who was credited with signing Kante, Vardy and Mahrez. The former assistant manager joined Everton this summer as Director of Football.

It remains to be seen if the Foxes will still be able to pull off the kind of signings they have done in the past without Walsh’s skills and knowledge.

Outsiders to retain the title

Never in the history of the Premier League has the reigning champions started as such long odds as Leicester will next season. The Foxes are odds of 28/1 to win the Premier League title, which is nothing compared to their 5000/1 odds last season, but still long odds for a reigning champion.

The odds are understandable considering the fact that the likes of like Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United have got highly-rated new bosses and new signings as well.

That is without even including the likes of Tottenham, Liverpool and Arsenal, who will be considered outsiders to be crowned champions in the new season.

In truth, Leicester’s triumph was more likely than not a one-off. It is very unlikely to ever be repeated in the Premier League. No doubt normal service will be resumed in the new campaign, as the big spenders will once again rule. Sad but true, unfortunately.

It would be fantastic if Leicester could retain the title. It would arguably be more of an achievement than the first title. However, it seems highly unlikely that the Foxes can challenge again for the title next season. However, I really hope I am wrong.

Should Leicester be considered Premier League title challengers?


David Nugent

David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer 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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