Leicester City – Final Position 1st
Player of the season – Riyad Mahrez. A special player. Fleet-footed and devastating. His link-up with 24 goal Jamie Vardy is the main reason Leicester City are champions of England.
Signing of the season – N’Golo Kante. What else is there to say about the magnificent ball-winning midfield maestro? His performances allowed City’s creative talent to do their thing. Would have a been a bargain at twice his £5.5 million fee. Chief scout Steve Walsh will dine out on this one for a while.
Flop of the season – Gokhan Inler. Was meant to be Esteban Cambiasso’s replacement. He barely got a sniff. Then again, nobody would have done.
Young Fox to look out for – Ben Chilwell. The full-back is heir apparent to Christian Fuchs. Loan deals will have whet his appetite.
Incredible. Heart-warming. Dilly Ding – Dilly Dong. We all live in a world where Leicester City are the English Premier League Champions. What Claudio Ranieri and his special team achieved this season will never, ever be repeated. Let’s make that perfectly clear. If the Foxes had managed to consolidate and maybe improve on their previous season’s showing, that would have been a success. It cannot be forgotten just where the club was at after the 2014/15 season. Their Thai owners, the King Power group, had removed the bullish and controversial Nigel Pearson after his baffling outbursts and appalling touchline behaviour threatened to bring the club into disrepute. Then came the scandal of young players being involved in a racial incident in Thailand. A fresh outlook was needed. Step forward, Claudio Ranieri. The loveable and classy Italian galvanised and led his side to victory after stunning victory. It must be said, Ranieri has not always been given the respect he deserves, often mocked and given the moniker, ‘The Tinkerman’. He can expect to be rightly lauded now.
Leicester’s success was built on many pillars. A canny and well-honed recruitment strategy meant they fielded a team who very quickly gelled and excelled. Many were almost ever-present all season and it was this bedrock that kept them going. Kasper Schmeichel was imperious in goal, Robert Huth and captain Wes Morgan provided a solid barrier, N’Golo Kante and Danny Drinkwater bossed midfields. This was the perfect foil to the rampaging and brilliant Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez, who were almost unstoppable at times. Vardy’s record of 11 goals in a row was particularly special and underlined how lethal he has now become. Even unsung heroes like Shinji Okazaki and Marc Albrighton played a vital role. It really was a dream come true. To think, all it really took was a pizza party!