Leicester City and the vanishing Scottish influence!

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The last Scottish player to play a full first team game for Leicester City was Paul Gallacher, this was back in the 2012-13 season and since then we have seen no Scottish players in a Leicester City first team shirt.

The Scottish influence at Leicester City is well documented with a number of players playing a big part in great finals, still having club records and being key players in promotions and crucial escapes from relegation.

Looking back in history, Scotland is a place for football talent and Leicester City are among those clubs that found talent were others didn’t look. We have gone down the memory lane to look up those “Fantastic Tartans”.

The first player to recognize is the one with most league appearances in the history of Leicester City. Adam Black was his name. a right back who captained Leicester City during that fantastic 1928-29 season ending runners-up in the league.

Adam Black, born 1898 in Denny Scotland, came as a schoolboy to Leicester and stayed for 15 seasons, making his debut in 1920, and playing his last game in 1935. Black played 528 league games (a club record) and scored 4 goals.

In that team you had another Scot who also is a record holder, Johnny Duncan. Duncan scored 6 goals in a 7-0 win v. Port Vale back in 1934. This still stands as a record for most goals scored in a single game, later equalized by Arthur Chandler, who both hold this record together. Duncan returned to Leicester and became manager after World War II, reaching the FA Cup final in 1949 with Leicester City, the first time in history. Sadly Leicester lost the game to mighty Wolves who won the clash 3-1.

Duncan is also known for the signing of Don Revie who later became a legend as Leeds manager and dedicated a lot of his management knowledge to Johnny Duncan who was given a full chapter in his autobiography, saying “Until you have heard Johnny Duncan talk about Soccer then your Football Eduacation is sadly lacking”. Duncan scored 88 league goals in 279 league games while at Filbert Street.

When Leicester as a 2nd tier team reached the FA Cup final in 1949, they had three Scottish players in the line-up. The defender Sandy Scott (31/1), a forward named Ken Chisholm (42/17) and the legendary outside left Charlie Adam (158/22). Scott and Chishol has short stays at Leicester, with Adam being a player at the club for 14 years, one of few to have played for the club before and after the World War II.

The next player from north of the border to get a line is goalkeeper Johnny Anderson. He was a certain number one for many years introduced to the first team by Johnny Duncan. He was a certain number one during most of the 50’s, and stepped down when a certain Gordon Banks came to the club back in 1959.

Matt Gillies took charge of Leicester City back in 1958, coming in as a caretaker boss stepping up from his coaching role. He was a Scottish gentleman with a previous life as a defender at the club, playing 103 league games after joining from Bolton Wanderers. The influence of Scottish players evolved under the management of Gillies who had an eye for talent going back up north to find players at an early age and giving them a chance ot move south.

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Firstly Gillies managed to avoid relegation from the 1st divsion. He slowly build stone by stone and by 1961 he had managed to reach the FA Cup final with Leicester City. In this team four players were Scottish. The captain Jimmy Walsh, Ian King, the youngster Frank McLintock and Hugh McIlmoyle.

Ian King, Frank McLintock and Hugh McIlmoyle were all picked up from more or less amateur clubs in Scotland, all joining Leicester City at a very young age. Jimmy Walsh joined from Celtic and was well established when moving to Filbert Street.

Leicester City climbed and climbed under Matt Gillies and the team known as the “Ice Kings”, almost managed to win “The Double” but stumbled from a top position, losing four games in the end of the that 1962-63 season, when they also reached the FA Cup final again, seen as favorites against Manchester United.

The team had seen a few changes since 1961, but still the Scottish influence was there to see. There were four Scots in the team, Frank McLintock and Ian King were still there, joined by John Sjoberg and the lively Dave Gibson. Gibson had joined Leicester from Hibs a season before and became a key player for many seasons, and played a part in the next cup finals as well, taking place in 1964, 1965 and 1969.

Frank McLintock left Leicester City in 1964, joining Arsenal for a club record fee of £80.000, and later became a key figure at Highbury, winning “The Double” and captaining their team. John Sjoberg had a long and good career at Leicester City playing 336 league games and scoring 15 goals. Sjoberg played in both League Cup fijnals of the 60’s, but missed out on the 1969 FA Cup final, due to an injury, but later forced his way back in to the team and one promotion in 1972, keeping on to 1973, before moving to Rotherham.

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Matt Gillies as so many Leicester City managers had to balance the books and while players left he signed new once. The next Scot to talk about is Jimmy Goodfellow. A pacy winger / midfielder signed from Third Lanark. He scored in the 1965 League Cup final against Chelsea and stayed at the club for four seasons from 1963 to 1965, scoring 28 goals in 98 league games.

Leicester City won their first ever trophy in 1964. The League Cup was captured after winning a two legged final against Stoke City. The team had three Scots, John Sjoberg, Max Dougan and Dave Gibson. When Leicester again reached the same final in 1965, Jimmy Goodfellow was in the team, so were six other Scots, Ian King, Tom Sweenie, Dave Gibson, John Sjoberg, Billy Hodgson and newly record signing Bobby Roberts.

Matt Gillies made a number of changes to the team he had build and by the time a new big final was reached, the FA Cup in 1969, Gillies had been replaced with Frank O’Farrell, but the Irish manager had no doubt about playing Scottish players.

While Man City fielded a “Full English” team, Leicester kept their Scottish tradition running. Bobby Roberts and Dave Gibson were still there in company with Andy Lochhead and Malcolm Manley who came on as a sub.

A few changes were made under Frank O’Farrell who lost the final at Wembley and also faced relegation in the same season, but had time for sentimental feelings as he rebuild his team to again fight for promotion.

When Leicester City again, after two season in the 2nd tier, reached the top, it was with a new Scot up front, a young Alistair Brown. Malcolm Manley and John Sjoberg were still at the club and was the “Tartan Army” at Leicester City in that first season back.

Jimmy Bloomfield had taken over with Frank O’Farrell moving to Manchester United. Jimmy had a different view and instead of looking north, he went down to London to find new players. Brown left first for West Bromwich, Manley joined Portsmouth and Sjoberg moved to Rotherham, all of them gone by the year of 1973.

Jimmy Bloomfield did sign a Scottish player with Brian Alderson joining from Coventry in the summer of 1975. He also introduced a young Scot, Peter Welsh to the first team and gave him his debut as a teenager, so he was not a manager free from Scottish scouting.

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When Frank McLintock moved in and came back to Leicester, his first signing was a Scottish midfielder, Eddie Kelly from QPR. Tommy Willliams made his debut and Billy Hughes joined from Derby. The Scottish tradition was slowly coming back at Leicester City.

Frank McLintock was replaced after that terrible 1977-78 season, in with a new Scottish manager the “no nonsense” Jock Wallace was brought down from Rangers. He had done well with the Scottish giant and the former goalkeeper made it clear that Scotland was the place to find new Leicester City talents.

A stock of Scottish players joined from all over. Martin Henderson and Alan Lee, both previous Rangers players joined from NASL. Ian Wilson, Kevin MacDonald, Nicky Walker, Derek Strickland, Bobby Smith and record signing Alan Young came in as Jock Wallace build a fresh new team, with Welsh, Williams and Kelly all part of it.

When Jock Wallace got Leicester City promoted he decided to go back north for his next recruit. Partick Thistle and Scotland U.21 striker Jim Melrose was the player he wanted to play up front in partnership with Alan Young, replacing Martin Henderson.

The next Scottish duo to really make a big impact at Leicester was the Motherwell players Gary McAllister and Ally Mouchlen who joined the club in 1985. A combined fee of £250.000 was paid by Gordon Milne, and those two became important players, despite playing most of their league football for Leicester City in the 2nd tier.

Leicester City have as so many other English clubs depended less on Scottish players as the market of foreign imports opened up and we have seen a big decrease in the hunt for talent up north. Mark McGhee and Craig Levein are the only two Scots to have been in charge at Leicester City since.

McGhee had no eye for Scots and his short spell at Leicester City never really made this a topic. Craig Levein brought with him a few names from Hearts, but they were not Scottish but from other nations.

Matt Elliott played for Scotland but have never looked at him as a Scottish player, and didn’t regard him in that way. Peter Canero, Billy McKinley, Rab Douglas and Iain Hume are Scottish,  and did play for Leicester City.

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Not to forget £1.6million signing Callum Davidson. The left back coming in from Blackburn Rovers is still the most expensive Scottish signing.

We will of course not forget Paul Dickov who had two decent periods at the club, being part of two promotions, first in 2002/03 and than in 2008/09, coming back for a 2nd spell and being of influence.

Since Dickov left we have not seen many Scots in the line-up with Robbie Nielsen and Paul Gallacher being the last pair to shine for Scotland in a Leicester City shirt. We have not forgotten Steve Howard, who represented Scotland at B-level but is English born and one recognized in the same category as Matt Elliott.

It’s a bit sad to see the Scots vanish from English football and not really being able to bring forward the talent they used to, and you can see how they have struggled with their national team as well not being able to compete at the highest level anymore.

Hot, Cool, Cold, how TCF rates the current transfer rumours, one by one

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We have again made a range of the current rumours and how we rate them all together, this was a very popular page at our site and this is now back. We will comment on the current rumours as they appear and put them in where we fill they fit.

The current hot section includes three names at the moment. Youri Tielemans is still in there despite time running out and that the price tag will be too heavy on the Belgian interantional. He fitted well into the Leicester City family and we all thought he would be coming, and we still have a belief it can happen.

The other two players that are currently in the hot area, are Sarr from Rennes and Reghba from Bohemians. The contract looked settled and agreed, but no information on him lately, but we still believe that Leicester City will bring the youngster to the club. Ismaila Sarr is also a player fitting the bill and could be added by Brendan Rodgers.

The cool section contains a number of names, with the two latest rumours to appear among those. Bertrand Traore is a player similar to Sarr and one that could be in line for a move, but with Arsenal also in the chase, don’t believe this would be easy to pull off.

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With the promotion of Aston Villa, both John McGinn and Jack Grealish looks unlikely to move away and those links are dead, also believing that is the case with Patrick Roberts who are not yet seen as a first team regular at Leicester City at this moment.

For the full list, rated and categorized, enter here

Leicester in chase, will they be able to win their race for former Man City, Ajax and Chelsea players

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The last player to be seen linked with a move to Leicester City is Lyon winger Bertrand Traore. Traore previously with Ajax and Chelsea is still a young man, only 23 years of age and fits the bill for what the club is looking for.

The way forward as we can see in PL and European football is to have mobile players up front who can change positions and be able to play a less static game and that is the way you see Man City, Liverpool and several other clubs trying to do.

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Another name that has popped up, is Rakeem Harper, a 19 year old seen as a prospect followed closely by new chief of recruitment Lee Congerton. Harper was a target for Celtic and the youngster looks as if he has a bright future. West Bromwich Albion is his current club, so we just have to wait and see what happens.

The reports linking Leicester City with Patrick Roberts looks a bit dead at the moment. A former favorite of Brendan Rodgers. The highly rated Man City youngster has spent the last season on loan at Girona in Spain, but would be surprised if he ends up at Leicester next season.

Arsenal and Leicester are according to Daily Mail the front runners in the chase of Ismaila Sarr, and of course it could happen, a player without any track record from the PL level of football, but could fit the bill of a player in Leicester City demand.

For all the new and older links to Leicester City targets, enter here

 

5000/1 what happened next, update on our great heroes of 2015/16

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Going back looking at that fantastic season, that dream season, those fantastic games and the great thrill of winning Premier League with 10 points. So why couldn’t Leicester City build on that fantastic win and why did everyone fail so dramatically in the next season.

Questions are many, and the big strange scenario was that Leicester City couldn’t continue to play the way they did, and many of the players were constantly linked away to the better deals, bigger clubs and it looked as if suddenly all those in demand wanted to leave.

Jamie Vardy stayed after he was given a new and very lucrative contract, avoiding a move to Arsenal that looked almost done. Chelsea wanted N’Golo Kantè and he slipped as Claudio Ranieri had to see his most important player leave.

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The dream of a fantastic new season and a chance to win the Champions League were probably ruined the day N’Golo Kantè left and the gap after him has never been filled despite Claudio finding a replacement in Wilfred Ndidi who indeed has grown into a well working Premier League player.

Leicester City had a well established team of grown players. A team that had been put together with a number of new signings in front of that great season, adding Christian Fuchs, N’Golo Kantè and Shinji Okazaki. A few months earlier Robert Huth. Marc Albrighton and Danny Simpson had arrived.

The counter attacking style, the grim use of Jamie Vardy and using his skills as fantastic as no one had done before, and giving Riyad Mahrez the freedom he needed, with N’Golo Kantè covering so much space in midfield that you could give Riyad that freedom.

Everything fitted so well in a jigsaw so perfect you would look at it as master work in the class of Albert Einstein. Claudio Ranieri put it all together, adding his own little pieces to a group of players build on the idea of Nigel Pearson, Craig Shakespeare and Steve Walsh.

The strange belief of Claudio Ranieri, that he had to change, might have come with the uncertainty appearing when Kantè left. Despite the Kantè departure, Leicester City managed to fly in Europe, being the best English team, reaching the quarter finals and losing to Atletico Madrid after some great performances both home and away.

Despite that run of great games in the Champions League, fans never believed it was possible to be able to get back up to the top of the ladder in the Premier League, and we all could see what happened. The owners decided to sack Claudio, who had in himself changed too much and he never really thought in his own mind that winning the League trophy again was possible. What a shame, what a strange way to build on a great triumph.

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As we all know Claudio left, and has since had three new jobs, been in charge of Nantes, Fulham and Roma, leaving the Italians in the summer and who knows what his next job will be. Leicester City has also had three other managers since the move of Claudio with Craig Shakespeare, Claude Puel and Brendan Rodgers doing the work. Brendan looks promising and TCF hopes that Rodgers can bring Leicester City more happiness.

Going back and look at what happened in the summer of 2016, it was that classical mistake done by so many before. Instead of staying calm and taking things into consideration, money was splashed out on players, not really seen as straight away first team regulars, and then you start to work on some very bad ideas. Signing big name players and giving them false hope of a future, without really believing that you straight away would replace the best players with the new signings.

Kasper Schmeichel was again challenged by a new goalkeeper, Ron-Robert Zieler. Why sign Zieler, when you had Ben Hamer, who had a role and could have covered for Kasper when he was sidelined and the German was given the chance. Today Kasper is still Leicester City’s number one and hopefully will carry on in that role for a number of seasons, a legend and one to trust. Zieler is gone, telling a story of lost opportunities and not really getting much out of his move to Leicester City.

Danny Simpson was the preferred choice to the right in the defense and he did well, especially defensively. More or less the first player to be seen as “not good enough” by Claudio, dropping him, and introducing Luis Hernandez. Hernandez was not ideal and the position became a problem, switching and turning, Simpson back after a while, Hernandaz left for Malaga after just a few months at the club.

Robert Huth and Wes Morgan build a fantastic relationship as the central defense duo, with Yohan Benalouane and Daniel Amartey as possible alternatives. Huth struggled with injuries and never managed to come back after that fantastic 2015/16 season and a gap was left to find a good replacement. Neither Amartey or Benalouane had the quality to fill that position. A rusty Marcin Wasilewski had been given a new year extension to his contract, but he was not seen as a first team cover at all.

Danny Drinkwater continued in midfield together with Riyad Mahrez and Marc Albrighton, without finding a player in the summer that could fill the gap after N’Golo Kantè. Mendy, King and Amartey were all part of a juggle experiment. The signing of Wilfred Ndidi in January solved the puzzle, and he did well, bringing that defensive calmness into the team again.

Up front it was no doubt about Jamie Vardy, but Claudio decided that the vital work done by Shinji Okazaki the season before and the sub qualities of Leo Ulloa was not seen as “part of future plans” with the introduction of Ahmed Musa and Islam Slimani, who had no clear role either in a team, with a manager who had no clear vision on where to go, by bringing in the likes of Musa and Slimani.

Claudio introduced Ben Chilwell and Harvey Barnes, and he also gave Demarai Gray a chance to play a part, without really giving fans and media a clear idea of what he would like to do with this Leicester City team.

Everything became a bit of a mess with new players not really knowing what their role was. Established players doing great the season before, suddenly finding out that they no longer were part of a future that looked so bright just weeks before.

Then when Claudio left, Craig Shakespeare was given the job. First as a caretaker and then in the summer given the job permanent. In real Craig just rolled the tape back and started to play the way they did in the 2015/16 season, rescued the team from relegation and the team started to perform well again, just neglecting those new signings. Musa, Slimani and Mendy all more or less vanished under Shakespeare’s leadership.

Sadly Claudio Ranieri used more than £60million on new players that never really contributed for Leicester City and today must be seen as bad money spent, and without a doubt players that were not needed to take the club forward. But you never know in the business of football, with other signings done under the time of Claudio that all are today seen as well money spent.

To look back is always easy and to tell what should have been done or what should not have been done can be told with the knowledge in your hand, but you can always learn and hopefully Leicester City owners have learned a bit over the years.

To see Claudio leave after such a short term in charge was a big blow for TCF, something died inside with him leaving and again as a Leicester City fan you have to build yourself up again, and today feeling ok, with Brendan Rodgers as manager, but he does not have that “glory” as Claudio had, but again, if you have to find a replacement, Brendan Rodgers is a good one.

Christian Fuchs, Marc Albrigthon, Ben Chilwell, Harvey Barnes, Wes Morgan, Kasper Schmeichel, Andy King, Matty James, Daniel Amartey, Demarai Gray and Jamie Vardy are all still at the club, three years after that great happening, but we might have to wave goodbye to a few over the summer, seeing King and James probably no longer part of the future under Brendan Rodgers.

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N’Golo Kantè and Riyad Mahrez are both players sold by Leicester City building on that great triumph, being now at Chelsea and Man City and winning some remarkable trophies since their days with Leicester City.

Mahrez winning The Treble with Man City this season (never been done by a club in England before), Kantè winning the World Cup, Premier League, FA Cup and Europa League while at Chelsea.

To finish of this article we would like to hope that Leicester City once again can challenge the top six, with a team of many young players and under Brendan Rodgers be able to combine possession with fast counter attacks and be able to penetrate in a way that Jamie Vardy again can be of full use as a center forward.

Jamie Vardy ended this season on 18 goals in the Premier League, and he has so far scored 100 league goals in 239 games for the club, hopefully we will see him add to this tally in the future seasons to come.

When Saturday Comes, Champions League final, Leicester City links to Tottenham and Liverpool

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When Saturday Comes, then we all will be watching that special final in Madrid between Liverpool and Tottenham. This is not the first time two English clubs are in such a final, with Man Utd and Chelsea meeting each other in Moscow back in 2008.

Leicester reached the quarter finals in 2016/17, losing that clash to Atletico Madrid, but as we all remember the English team that lasted the longest, with the others leaving the tournament at earlier stages.

So what has Leicester City to do with this final between Liverpool and Tottenham, not much, but we all know who is in charge of our club, the first to be mentioned with a life at Anfield. Brendan Rodgers had a good period at Liverpool, finishing 2nd in the league just a “fall” from Steven Gerrard, trapped him from winning the league.

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Paul Konchesky is unique and as far as we know the only Leicester City player to have played for both Tottenham and Liverpool. Harry Kane will probably play a part, and our former loanee might be the one scoring the winning goal.

Leicester City have come up against Liverpool and Tottenham in cup competitions and lost on both occasions, in the FA Cup semi-finals. Against Liverpool in 1974 after replay, Tottenham in 1982. Liverpool and Tottenham went on to win the final at Wembley.

Emile Heskey was a record sale when he joined Liverpool back in 2000 for a fee of £11 million. Gary Lineker was also a record sale when he joined Everton, and later he became a key player at Tottenham.

Back in the 1980-81 season, Andy Peake scored a fantastic goal against Liverpool, winning 2-0 at home and a young Leicester City team shocked the stars of Anfield that evening. They even managed to win at Anfield as well, but the two wins couldn’t stop Leicester from getting relegated.

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Two major finals have been lost to Tottenham. Firstly the FA Cup in 1961 when Spurs won their special “Double”, and later in 1999, in the EFL Cup, with the dane Alan Nielsen spoiling the party with the only goal of the game.

Gordon Milne who was manager at Leicester City from 1982 to 1986 had a great career as a player with Liverpool and he was in charge when Liverpool signed Kevin MacDonald for a record fee of £400.000.

David Pleat who was in charge at Leicester City also have a proud history at Tottenham, being part of that club for many, many years. being their manager, caretaker manager, other roles at White Hart Lane, and a man well known for his time at that club.

If we look at this season results against the two, Leicester City picked up one point from four games, catching a draw at Anfield which must be described as a very good result against a team that had a fantastic run in the PL this season ending runners-up.

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Leicester City manager Peter Taylor made history when breaking the transfer record for a goalkeeper, by signing Ian Walker from Tottenham, paying £2,5 million. Walker played once for England during his days at Leicester City and following Gordon Banks and Peter Shilton in the clubs proud Three Lions goalkeeper traditions. He is still the last goalkeeper at Leicester City to have been capped at full England international level.

Steffen Freund was the first German internatonal to play for Leicester City, after joining from Kaiserslautern. He had a previous life at Tottenham and Freund played in that 1999 EFL Cup final. Micky Adams who brought in Freund back in 2003/04 also brought in Ben Thatcher and Les Ferdinand in that season, both with a previous life at Spurs.

Liverpool as a club knows the European Cup and the CL with a number of finals and wins in that competition. This is the first time Tottenham reaches a CL final, but has earlier gone all the way in the UEFA Cup, winning both in 1972 and 1984. Tottenham also have a winners medal from the European Cup winners cup back in 1963.

We will of course follow the game and hope that the team that play to their very best will win the title, wishing all fans of Liverpool and Tottenham the very best.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Very interesting views from the New Tottenham Stadium, Leicester City are closing in on top target

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Well informed Spurs website Harry Hotspur are out with their latest thoughts and views about a possible Youri Tielemans move to The New Tottenham Stadium. This is a “stopper” and not going any further.

Mauricio Pochettino got the opportunity to sign the Belgian international in January, but nothing happened and other clubs such as Man City and Man Utd were not in the picture at all, and it all became Leicester City.

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Tielemans performances at Leicester are seen as “very good” but the real truth is that games against Man Utd, Tottenham and Man City were all lost and “zero” points picked up from those three games, so how much of an idea it is to bring in Tielemans is not easy to know.

According to the Spurs website, Tielemans agent is ready to get things concrete and Leicester City are at this point the only club to have shown enough interest to be seen as a potential deal going through.

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The big question is, how will this deal look like and can Leicester City pull it all of with a number of fees being paid after such and such games, table positions and more. Hopefully Youri Tielemans will become a Leicester City player by the end of this week, can’t see him going for Man City or Man Utd, and with Tottenham out of the picture, it looks as if this is getting closer and closer.

The fact that Tielemans is showing how much he likes it at Leicester City and knowing he will be a key player and play a very important part of future plans under Brendan Rodgers, is vital in this discussion. We just hope that these new reports are correct and that a move can happen as soon as possible.

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