The Potential of the 2015/16 Premier League champions Leicester City

In what was arguably the most famous Premier League title winning season ever, Leicester City defied the odds to claim a first Premier League championship win. Without a doubt the club were not expecting to achieve such a feat, but under former Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri, the midlands club swept aside team after team as they reached the pinnacle of English football.

But where have the club gone since then? As the fans looked forward to Champions League football the following season, there was always the fear that they didn’t have enough strength in depth to play well in both competitions.

The Foxes impressed on the continent, finishing top of their group ahead of Club Brugge, Copenhagen and Porto. In the second round they were drawn against Spanish club Sevilla and despite their dreadful domestic form, which saw them hovering around the relegation zone, they managed to defeat Sevilla 3-2 on aggregate.

Their European adventure ended at the hands of another Spanish side, Atletico Madrid, who only just managed to knock out the English champions, squeezing past the Foxes 2-1 on aggregate. A narrow defeat against a club of the calibre of Atletico Madrid was nothing to be ashamed of, but their domestic form certainly was. They may not have been the favourites in the Champions League winner odds, but they didn’t need to be to spring a surprise or two, as they had proven in the Premier League.

Their highest league position while defending the title was 9th and their lowest was 17th. Despite never actually entering into the relegation zone Claudio Ranieri was sacked on the 23rd February and was replaced by his assistant Craig Shakespeare.

Their new manager was able to steady the ship and led the Foxes to a comfortable 12th place, but it was still the worst result for any defending champion.

After the team started badly in the 2017/18 season, Shakespeare was sacked as manager and replaced by former Southampton manager Claude Puel in October 2017. The Frenchman has remained in charge ever since, although there appears to be little sign of the club repeating its incredible feat of a few years ago.

Puel took them up to 9th place in the table as the season came to a close and despite consistently being one of the names touted to be the next manager to be sacked, the Leicester board have remained patient with him.

Over the summer, Puel signed some impressive talent in the form of Norwich City midfielder James Maddison, who joined for a reported £22 million fee. FC Porto right back Ricardo Pereira also joined the club and West Brom defender Jonny Evans was also signed to provide some much need strength in defence.

As Harry Maguire and Ben Chilwell continue to impress for the Foxes, they have been rewarded with new contracts, which will allow Puel to either hold onto their key defenders for a few more years, or at least charge a substantial transfer fee in order to replace them.

The foundations have been laid at Leicester. Will they ever win the Premier League again? Unlikely. But they have enough about them to at least bring European football back to the King Power Stadium, as long as they can reach the Europa League qualifying spots.