It was almost sad looking at Leicester City miss out on the Champions League last season, after having held a spot in the top four for almost 75% of the campaign. The Foxes were eventually pipped by Manchester United and Chelsea, and had to settle for fifth place and a Europa League spot next season. However, that would have been a huge achievement for the club at the start of the season, and it was only the fact that they flew so high during the campaign, that it seems like a disappointment.
Nevertheless, there is a lot of work for the Leicester hierarchy to do if they are to remain competitive. Brendan Rodgers’ side went on a winning streak over October and November last year, and that run was essentially the reason for their place in the top four till the last few weeks of the campaign. Their form since the turn of the year, in particular, has been shocking, and will have concerned Rodgers and the Leicester City management. There is a need for a bit of a refresh of the playing squad, especially with a couple of high-profile departures looking likely. Ben Chilwell is supposedly Chelsea’s top target at left-back, and Leicester are holding out for more than £80 million for the England international, a similar fee to the one they received for Harry Maguire from Manchester United last summer. That money will need to be reinvested across the squad, with several key components growing older and needing replacements in due time.
The likes of Nampalys Mendy and Bartosz Kapustka are certain to be sold, adding to the transfer kitty and freeing up some more space in the wage budget. However, the likes of Demarai Gray and Kelechi Iheanacho would probably also be moved on if suitable fees were received. Both players have not developed as was hoped at the King Power Stadium, and a reset and change of surroundings may be needed to bring out the best in them. The Foxes definitely need to add depth to their squad, as their struggles without the influential midfielder Wilfred Ndidi were clearly seen last season. The Nigerian, who along with compatriot Iheanacho has made Leicester a very popular club in his country, with the newest betting sites in Nigeria all regularly offering markets on Leicester’s matches, needs a suitable backup option, as Hamza Choudhary has failed to convince so far.
Brentford’s Ollie Watkins has been linked, and he would be a very good signing, capable of playing on the flanks or up front. Odsonne Edouard at Celtic is another forward who would be a very good option, serving as Jamie Vardy’s backup and allowing Rodgers’ to give Vardy some rest when needed. William Carvalho is reportedly a target in central midfield, although his arrival would make it difficult for Wilfred Ndidi to get into the lineup. Nevertheless, Leicester need competition for places, as well as squad depth ahead of next season’s Europa League exertions, and so bringing in high-quality players is a must. Elsewhere, the Burnley pair of Dwight McNeil and James Tarkowski are also supposedly of interest to Leicester City, and both of these players would once again serve to provide depth in their respective positions – winger and centre-back. Kasper Schmeichel is not getting any younger, but the Danish goalkeeper has shown few signs of declining with age, and so the Foxes can rest easy on that front for a couple of seasons longer.