Saturday, July 20, 2019

Leicester well-positioned for a top-six challenge next season

David Nugent in Editorial, English Premier League 9 Jul 2019

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Leicester City are one of the few clubs outside of the current so-called ‘big six’ to have won the Premier League title. When Claudio Ranieri’s team won the title in 2015 it was regarded as one of the biggest shocks in sporting history.

Since the triumph, unsurprisingly have not managed to repeat the feat and have been competing in mid-table in the top-flight. However, the Foxes are just one of the teams who finished last season just below the top six last season who are outsiders to finish in that supposed elite group next season.

Leicester have a promising squad

On Monday, Leicester sealed the £40million signing of highly-rated Belgium midfielder Youri Tielemans. The 22-year-old impressed in the second half of last season on-loan from Monaco.

His performances in the Premier League reportedly attracted the interest of some of Manchester City and Manchester United. However, the youngster reportedly had to stay at Leicester as his preferred option this summer.

Tielemans joins an exciting Leicester squad. The likes of full-back Ben Chilwell and attacking midfielder James Maddison are two of the most promising young English players. Defensive midfielder Wilfried Ndidi also has a growing reputation within the game.

Meanwhile, the Foxes also still have the much-in-demand England centre-back Harry Maguire, despite interest and rejected bids from Manchester United. Even without the former Hull defender, Brendan Rodgers side are still promising.

The signing of Spanish forward Ayoze Perez from Newcastle for £30million also looks like it could be a shrewd one. The 25-year-old enjoyed the best season of his career in the last campaign, scoring 12 times in the Premier League.

Well-positioned to push on next season

Leicester finished ninth-place in the table last season. The Foxes team has evolved well in recent seasons, with those aforementioned young players and what seem to be good summer additions.

In boss Brendan Rodgers they also have a boss who still has something to prove in the Premier League, despite a trophy-laden stint in Scotland with Celtic. Rodgers does have managerial acumen. However, a poor season in his final campaign at Liverpool saw his reputation take a fall.

The Leicester job gives the Northern Irishman the ideal opportunity to rebuild his career. All-in-all Leicester seems to be well positioned to push on next season. The Foxes will be highly disappointed not to finish higher in the table next season.

Big competition for the top six next season

The general consensus is that there is an opportunity this season with the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal looking vulnerable to falling out of the top six mainly due to the lack of recruitment.

Leicester along with the likes of Everton and Wolves will fancy their chances of nabbing one of those top six spots next season. The Foxes are odds of 11/2 to finish in the top six in season 2019/20.

Those odds are longer than the other two aforementioned outsiders to break into the elite group at the top of the table. Those odds just reflect how teams finished last season.

In truth, with a bit of luck and the right recruitment, Leicester could very well finish in the top six, as could Everton or Wolves. It seems like that particular race is open as it has been for a long time.

Of course, the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal and United could well also enjoy strong campaigns. Then Foxes would have a big fight on their hands. Even if Leicester do not achieve a rare top-six finish, the momentum under Rodgers looks positive and the fans certainly have lots to look forward to next season.

Can Leicester finish in the Premier League top six next season?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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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