Guys in Disguise, Jonny Hayes, from Leicester City unknown becoming a star in the SPL

Jonny Hayes didn’t set the World on fire at Leicester City, playing a modest 7 league games while with the club from 2007 and 2009. He was a player picked up on a free from Reading and seen as an exciting prospect.

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He never appeared in the Reading first team and had a couple of loan spells at Forest Green and MK Dons that was seen as success but not enough so he was released and joined Leicester City on a free.

During his days as a fox he was also loaned out to Northampton Town and Cheltenham Town adding a bit of experience to take his next step in football. A move north of the border became a salvation for the Irishman as he got the chance to flourish at the highest level.

The club he joined Inverness Caledonian Thistle were at the 2nd level in the Scottish league pyramid and with Heyes in the team they got a straight promotion to the SPL and the breakthrough was completed for Jonny, who also scored some stunning goals in the first year in the top flight, one of them against Rangers.

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A move to Aberdeen in 2012 was a new step up for Heyes and he became a key player at Pittodrie for five years playing 165 league games and scoring 23 goals. He also experienced the thrill of playing in Europe and winning the Scottish League Cup in 2014.

He had really made his steps up in football and in the summer of 2017 Celtic payed a fee of £1million to sign Hayes. He had at this time already made his full international debut for Ireland and to date been involved in four games.

Hayes is set to leave Celtic in the summer after three years with the club playing 41 league games and scoring 2 goals, winning the leauge in all his seasons, the FA Cup twice and the League Cup once. Hayes is now 32 years of age and might decide to play on in Scotland, but it’s said that a number of Championship clubs in England also could be interested.

Lovely to see players who had great potential, but didn’t fulfill their talent at Leicester City, getting a chance elsewhere and really flying on as they made a life in top flight football.

Bruno N’Gotty

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When joining Leicester City from Birmingham City, Bruno N’Gotty was in his mid 30’s and spent time as a fox from 2007 to 2009. He played 38 league games for Leicester City and even had a short loan spell with Hereford United, so life was different.

A player that had experienced what most players don’t appearing for some of the best clubs in Europe and at the same time also playing at full international level for his country. He is a winner of Serie A in Italy with AC Milan, and of course playing at the highest level almost through his full career being also at PSG, Lyon, Marseille and Bolton Wanderers were he was a pinnacle player in the Premier League days of The Trotters.

His time with Bolton Wanderers was successful playing from 2002 to 2006, adding up 148 league games and scoring 5 goals. He was one of the clubs best players in probably the best period of that clubs history.

He joined Leicester City and hopes were high that he would contribute with his presence and experience in a way that would see the club again fight for promotion, but in a turbulent period at the club it all ended in relegation as N¨Gotty career were close to finished at the age of 36, and Nigel Pearson never did see the use of his experience during that 2008-09 season though being listed at the club.

His contract expired as Leicester City again had been promoted to the the 2nd tier, but N’Gotty wandered into 6th level football in France and has since retired for the game.

Leicester City will never be the club remembered as were Bruno N’Gotty made it in football, on the contrary the almost opposite. But in the favor of Bruno, he did play well at times and helped Leicester City to a few wins during his days.

FACTFILE

  • Full Name: Bruno N’Gotty
  • Position: Defender
  • Date of Birth: 10.06.1971
  • Birthplace: Lyon, France
  • Nation: France
  • Caps / Goals: 6/0
  • Major Career:
    • 1988-95, Lyon (237/13)
    • 1995-98, Paris SG (80/7)
    • 1998-00, AC Milan (30/1)
    • 2000-02, Marseille (32/0)
    • 2002-06, Bolton Wanderers (134/5)
    • 2006-07, Birmingham City (25/1)
    • 2007-09, Leicester City (38/0)
  • Links: Wikipedia

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Gokhan Inler

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Gokhan Inler was signed to fill the gap after Esteban Cambiasso, but his late arrival and the grand form of the Leicester City team made the Swizz almost redundant. A number of other players stepped forward and took the lead as Inler hardly got a look in.

He was there all season long and played the odd game during the Premier League winning season, but hardly talked about at all as N’Golo Kante, Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy grabbed the headlines.

Signed for a fee of £5million from Napoli, one of the major clubs in Italian Serie A, made Inler probably the signing of the that 2015 summer that would see a possible rise in performance and hopefully save the club from relegation, but as points were picked thick and fast without Inler playing, Claudio Ranieri might have forgotten about his most experienced midfielder.

At the age of 31 of course still a lot to offer and he did play. In total Gokhan Inler played 10 first team games at Leicester, 5 in the PL, 3 in the EFL Cup and 2 in the FA Cup. A fun fact is that Inler played three times for Switzerland during that season, as many as he started in the Premier League for Leicester City.

Another fun fact is that in his 5 PL appearances he never lost, won against Aston Villa and Chelsea, drawing against Stoke, Tottenham and Manchester City.  He started the games v. Aston Villa, Man City and Stoke, coming on against Tottenham and Chelsea, so a strange scenario really but Ranieri had more faith in Drinkwater, Kante and King who also had a key role during that PL winning season.

Inler made his last caps for Switzerland as a Leicester City player, ending his tally on 89, which also included playing and captaining his country in two World Cups. He was present both in South Africa 2010 and Brazil 2014. A brilliant servant to his country and chosing the Swizz instead of representing Turkey who he had played for as a youth international, being born in Switzerland with Turkish parents.

Inler had high hopes when he arrived in English football, and with his past at Napoli and Udinese every Leicester City fan thought he would be ideal for Leicester City, but what became a “fairy story” for some, might have been a “nightmare” for others, but in all he probably have enjoyed being part of that fantastic happening even if he was almost totally forgotten by most.

He was given the chance to leave after only one season and joined Besiktas, and later moved to another club in Turkey, Istanbul Besaksehir. and four years after the great PL winning season he is still in the game at 35.

He did win the league in Turkey with Besiktas, but couldn’t cement a steady place in the first team, but again picked up another trophy adding to the PL win and previous league wins in Switzerland with FC Zurich. In Italy he never experienced to win the league but has won the cup with Napoli.

FACTFILE

  • Full Name: Gokhan Inler
  • Postion: Midfield
  • Date of Birth: 27.06.1984
  • Birthplace: Olten, Switzerland
  • Nation: Switzerland
  • Caps / Goals: 89/7
  • Major Career
    • 2005-2006, Aaray (25/3)
    • 2006-2007, Zurich (52/3)
    • 2007-2011, Udinese (141/6)
    • 2011-2015, Napoli (118/9)
    • 2015-2016, Leicester City (5/0)
    • 2016-2020, Istanbul Basaksehir (44/1)
    • 2020 ->, Adama Demirspor (38/1)
  • Links: 

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