What if? An alternative history of Leicester City talking of Ice Kings and Gary Lineker as we bring on Claudio Ranieri

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Despite a difficult run in Premier League it was still a shock to see Claudio Ranieri leaving his post as Leicester manager. The man that made this club lift a trophy we never thought would ever land in this city.

So what would have happened if Leicester had skipped the idea of appointing Craig Shakespeare and later bringing in Claude Puel and Brendan Rodgers. We have seen Claudio Ranieri in a number of different jobs after leaving Leicester.

At the time the Leicester team produced good results in Champions League action but in Premier League it was not as predicted. FA Cup and EFL Cup games also became a struggle with too many new faces being introduced to the party.

We do believe Leicester would have survived in Premier League, without sacking Claudio. With the addition of Wilfred Ndidi in January, the cover for N’Golo Kantè had in some way been found, so with that in place, you had what it took to bring back a winning mentality.

The problem was to get the correct mix and not starting a massive rotation that would upset the balance of the team as Craig Shakespeare would have assisted Claudio as the two were working on the formula for future success.

Looking in the back mirror we all know that talking down the ability of Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez and several of the other players was a massive mistake as they went on to play for their countries and had a good attitude and presence that never could see Leicester missing as much momentum as they did.

Ben Chilwell and Harvey Barnes were also in the making and had both been introduced the first team and been given their debuts by Claudio Ranieri. Daniel Amartey and Demarai Gray were two other youngsters introduced by the Italian master as the team would return to that winning formula.

Sadly most of the summer transfers basically had to be made on risky ground with Kasper Schmeichel, Jamie Vardy, N’Golo Kantè and Ryiad Mahrez all being approached by other clubs and without the moves for Musa, Mendy, Kapustka, Zieler, Slimani and Hernandez it could have been a squad of heavy problems.

This made it problematic for Ranieri as he had too many players to his service and dropping Vardy, Mahrez or Schmeichel would have been out of the question. This made it difficult for Musa and Slimani especially who were seen as clear replacements for Mahrez and Vardy, but they never had a chance to challenge for places.

Craig Shakespeare just put everything back to basics and ran the team perfectly out the season, something we believe would have happened with Claudio in there as well.

What we did see the next summer was a move for new players such as Harry Maguire, Kelechi Ihenancho and Adrien Silva. Shakespeare sent Slimani and Musa out on loan, something that also would have happened with Ranieri in charge as he was never in his mind thinking of dropping either Vardy or Mahrez as they continued to play.

We do believe that keeping Claudio would have been the best possible solution long term and given the man an chance to build a new Leicester team for the future, so we cartainly would have loved to see him getting more success.


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