Leicester had a number of quality players in their side that were crowned winners of Championship nine years ago. Leicester made their return to Premier League, 10 years after their last run in the top tier.
Jamie Vardy is the only player left from that promotion season, and we certainly hope he will be part of the challenge this season as well, but it might be his own decission to decide with a number of offers said to be coming his way from other clubs.
So how did Nigel Pearson build up his squad and in what way was this challenge similar or different from the season we are now soon to go into. Of course one massive difference is the fact that Leicester have been relegated, and been in massive decline, from their past seasons, sniffing around the the top four places and being a team of European qualification standard.
Another difference is the uncertainty regarding who will be staying and having a new manager that needs time to settle in and get his hands on the wheel.
Looking back you had no uncertainty regarding the goalkeeper job, Kasper Schmeichel had the gloves and his career was progressive, pushing for a place in Denmark’s national team, and a year before making his debut and starting the push to become his nations certain number one.
Leicester had no goalkeeper issue at the time and no uncertainty, with Conrad Logan being the number two, experienced at this level and also having a number of spells on loan at several clubs in lower divisions. Adam Smith was the third choice, and a good build of goalkeepers as it was no doubt about the hierarchy bewtween the three.
In defence you had certain players with grand experience. Wes Morgan was the captain, Marcin Wesolowski was also good at this level, having Paul Konchesky as a good alternative at the left back, and of course also able to use Jeffrey Schlupp as a good alternative if needed. Ritchie De Laet was the preferred man on the right. You had a loan man from Arsenal, Ignasi Miquel, who did his job when called on. Liam Moore was another name that made a solid number of performances.
Danny Drinkwater, Matty James, Anthony Knockaert, Riyad Mahrez, Dean Hammond, Loyd Dyer and Andy King giving the midfield area a good dimention, as well as experienced Gary Taylor-Fletcher doing his job when called on.
Up front Nigel Pearson had David Nugent, Jamie Vardy and Chris Wood as good alternative options at this level, as well as an old cunning fox in Kevin Phillips, who could score vital goals when called on and doing his most to help the club reach their promotion.
It was a good squad of depth and one knitted together in a good balance and blend of those ingrediences needed to get it all in place.
On the transfer front you had the addition of Riyad Mahrez in the January transfer window, being one good injection. Dean Hammond, Gary Taylor-Fletcher and Kevin Phillips were the only new players added, so much of the backbound was in place from before. Jermaine Beckford and Ben Marshall was the players who moved on for a fee, as well as sending players such as Martyn Waghorn and Paul Gallacher out on loan.
At this point we did just see the players arrive and return for pre-season, with a number of men still absent after being out on international duty or having more time off. If you look at the squad at this point, of course there are enough quality to count to get this ship back up at the first attempt, but still we believe there are a lot of water to be running before everything is settled and done regarding transfers in and out.
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