It’s been an eventful couple of years for Leicester City and a real adventure for Foxes’ fans but it all appears to have dampened down over the last few months. Craig Shakespeare has a big job on his hands this summer but where do the East Midlands club go from here?
The Foxes finished with 44 points last season, officially clocking up the worst Premier League title defence in history. That won’t be a concern to those fans who witnessed their heroes flirt with relegation for the first half of the campaign!
Claudio Ranieri’s dismissal was one of the most talked about sporting stories of the year and even took the Italian by surprise. The mercurial manager was unable to galvanise his squad off the back of their triumph and they were spiralling towards the bottom three in an alarming fashion.
His side had just scored in Seville to give themselves a fighting chance in their Champions League last 16 tie with the La Liga side but it wasn’t enough to save his job.
Several big names were touted around for the position but it was assistant coach Craig Shakespeare who got the nod and he guided his side to safety and into the quarter-finals of the Champions League. The former Grimsby midfielder clearly enjoys working with the squad who have looked like a completely different side since he took the reins.
Shakespeare faces a difficult summer as he bids to hold onto his key players. A number of top sides have been sniffing around Riyad Mahrez and the Algerian winger has expressed his desire to leave the club this summer. Arsenal are believed to be putting forward a bid for the impressive playmaker and the club must make plans to replace his creativity.
Another defender is undoubtedly required at the King Power Stadium with injuries and suspensions biting hard towards the latter half of the season; the club looked woefully short at the back without linchpin and captain Wes Morgan. Robert Huth isn’t getting any younger either.
Jamie Vardy had a stop-start campaign and he needs support. Islam Slimani’s injury-plagued time at the club meant he failed to help ease the burden on the former Fleetwood man; that is another department which needs strengthening this summer.
The club are left in a limbo state. They aren’t realistically going to challenge for the title again although European football isn’t completely out of the question. They are 200/1 in the football betting with bet365 to replicate their incredible title-winning season again in 2017-18 but will need to improve on their recent form if they are to achieve that dream.
Relegation doesn’t seem likely either which leaves them floating around mid-table with the likes of West Brom, Stoke, and Watford. Is this going to be enough of an attraction to entice a high calibre of new recruits?
They must push for the Europa League positions this season but additions are desperately needed. The passionate nature of the fans and the atmosphere of the King Power Stadium is something they must use to their advantage this campaign but it may be some time before those supporters get to witness their side in a Champions League quarter-final again.