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Football Reporting


Leicester’s Premier League title heroes five years on: Where are they now?

Sunday marks the fifth anniversary of the day Leicester City stunned the football world by winning the Premier League title.

Lest we forget, they were unfancied 5,000-1 rank outsiders at the start of the campaign, thought more likely to be relegated, but by the end of the 2015-16 campaign were lifting the trophy above their heads.

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That brilliant Foxes team will live forever in the history books but, as inspirational manager Claudio Ranieri found out to his cost, football soon moves on.

In testament to their achievements here’s a round-up of that legendary team. The 11 players who played the most minutes for Leicester in their greatest-ever season, and where they are now.

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Claudio Ranieri

Ranieri was rather unceremoniously sacked by Leicester just nine months after he delivered the club their most illustrious honour.

The Foxes struggled to replicate their success in 2016-17 and were just one point above the relegation zone when their title-winning coach was fired in February, with 13 games of the season remaining and the club in the knockout rounds of the Champions League.

Ranieri’s next job came in France with Nantes, before he returned to the Premier League to manage Fulham. However, his tenure in West London lasted just 17 matches as the Cottagers sank towards immediate relegation back to the Championship.

He then returned to former club Roma for 12 games to see them through to the end of the 2018-19 season, before agreeing to take over as head coach at Sampdoria in October 2019. He just managed to keep them up, but Samp have built on that and are in the top half in the 2020-21 season.

One of only two players to be on the pitch for every single minute of Leicester’s miraculous march to the title, Schmeichel conceded fewer goals (36) than games played and kept 15 clean sheets.

Now aged 34, the Denmark international remains No. 1 choice goalkeeper to this very day.

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Morgan was the second player to spend all 3,420 minutes on the pitch as the defender captained the Foxes to glory, even pitching in with a couple of goals.

The 37-year-old is still club captain at Leicester though the veteran centre-back has made just three cameo appearances this season.

Robert Huth – 35 apps, 3 goals

Huth proved himself to be a rock at the heart of Leicester’s defence in 2015-16, having spent the previous season on loan from Stoke City.

The Germany international spent another two years with the Foxes but after missing the entirety of the 2017-18 campaign through injury, the 34-year-old announced his retirement from football in January 2019.

A vital member of the Foxes’ title-winning defence, the Austrian left-back is still at Leicester and has made nine appearances in the Premier League this season.

The 35-year-old’s contract is due to expire this summer which means we might finally see Fuchs fulfill his long-held dream of making the leap into a second sporting career as an NFL place kicker.

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Danny Simpson – 30 apps

Simpson was released by Leicester at the end of the 2018-19 season and promptly joined Championship side Huddersfield, with whom he spent the 2019-20 campaign.

He turned down a new contract at Huddersfield, which may have backfired as he was without a club until March 2021, when he signed a short-term deal with Bristol City — a move that reunited him with former Leicester manager Nigel Pearson.

Drinkwater was an integral presence in Leicester’s title-winning midfield but requested to leave the club soon after amid reported interest from Chelsea.

The Foxes rejected several bids for Drinkwater before finally caving and accepting an offer of £35 million, with the deal going through in September 2017.

However, things soon turned sour as Drinkwater has gone on to make just five league starts for the Blues in four years with loans to Burnley, Aston Villa and, for the second half of the 2020-21 season, Turkish side Kasimpasa.

Drinkwater still has another year to run on his Chelsea deal but there’s little chance of him playing for the club again.

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N’Golo Kante – 37 apps, 1 goal, 4 assists

The undisputed breakout star of Leicester’s golden season, Kante has gone on to become one of the most coveted all-action midfielders in modern football.

After just one hugely successful year at the King Power, the diminutive French star sealed a big move to Chelsea in the summer of 2016.

Kante won the league again in 2016-17, thus becoming only the first player to win back to back Premier League titles with different clubs (Mark Schwarzer didn’t play in either title-winning seasons for Chelsea (2014-15) or Leicester (2015-16)).

He has since won two FA Cups and the Europa League with Chelsea — oh, and a World Cup too with France in 2018.

Okazaki left the Foxes for Spain in 2019, first signing with Malaga on a one-year deal. However, his contract had to be cancelled after just 34 days as the club were unable to register him due to financial constraints.

The Japanese forward subsequently joined second division Huesca, where he can still be found to this day (1 goal in 21 apps so far this season).

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The flying Foxes winger was a staple member of Ranieri’s hallowed team and continues to be an important player.

Now aged 31, Albrighton may have slipped down the pecking order by a rung or two but that hasn’t prevented him from making 26 appearances in the Premier League in 2020-21, laying on four assists in the process.

Jamie Vardy – 36 apps, 24 goals, 6 assists

The beating heart of Ranieri’s rebels, Vardy attained club legend status with his one-man battering ram performances in the Foxes’ title triumph.

Vardy’s incredible output saw him crowned Premier League Player of the Season in 2015-16 but the fearsome form didn’t stop there.

He went on to be Golden Boot winner in 2018-19 after another similarly prolific campaign in which he scored 23 league goals and thus, at the age of 33, became the oldest player to claim the award.

Vardy also became the 29th player to score 100 Premier League goals when he passed the milestone in June 2020, and then sealed membership to an even more exclusive club in March of 2021 when he registered 100 or more goal involvements in the top flight beyond his 30th birthday.

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Like a fine wine.

Riyad Mahrez – 37 apps, 17 goals, 11 assists

A relative unknown when he arrived at Leicester from French side Le Havre in 2014, Mahrez wasted little time proving what he was capable of.

The Algerian playmaker formed a devastating partnership with Jamie Vardy, with the pair’s goals helping to fuel the Foxes’ title charge.

A hefty transfer to Man City followed with the £60m price tag making Mahrez the most expensive African player of all time, as well as being the largest transfer fee Leicester had ever received.

While not quite a first-choice at City, the 30-year-old has proved to be a game-changing option for Pep Guardiola and has since added another Premier League title (2018-19) to his collection.

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