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Champions League

How Leicester sold five stars for £260m… then re-built a team now worth £430m that plays Chelsea in the FA Cup final


LEICESTER CITY became an FA Cup final side, as well as a club that could challenge for the Champions League places, through shrewd business.

The Foxes have made an astonishing £260million on players they bought in for just £18million since Jon Rudkin was installed as director of football in 2015.

Leicester cashed in after winning the title, raising £260m by selling five players

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Leicester cashed in after winning the title, raising £260m by selling five players
Leicester now boast a squad worth £430million including Caglar Soyuncu, left, and James Maddison

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Leicester now boast a squad worth £430million including Caglar Soyuncu, left, and James Maddison

Better still, they’ve spent that money wisely on young players whose stock has risen.

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According to Transfermarkt.com, Leicester’s squad is now worth around £430million.

The likes of James Maddison (£50m) and Caglar Soyuncu (£40m) could help boost the club’s finances in years to come, if/when they move.

A SELLING CLUB

Despite winning a league title in 2016, Brendan Rodgers’ men are still seen as a selling club.

If the price is right, Leicester could be forced to accept offers for their star talents – at the rate of one a season.

And since 2016, the reaped the benefits from a transfer recruitment process that is now overseen by Lee Congerton.

N’Golo Kante, a £6m signing from Caen, left for Chelsea for £30million that year.

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In 2017, it was his midfield partner Danny Drinkwater who also moved to Stamford Bridge for a whopping £40million.

A year later, Riyad Mahrez moved to Manchester City for £60million, in 2019 Manchester United paid £80million for Harry Maguire, and last summer Ben Chilwell made it a hat-trick of Chelsea signings from Leicester in recent years for £50million.

Astonishingly, those sales bolstered their coffers by £260million. What’s even more incredible is they cost just £18million.

Former Leicester City pair Harry Maguire and Riyad Mahrez were sold for £80m and £60 respectively after being bought for much-smaller fees

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Former Leicester City pair Harry Maguire and Riyad Mahrez were sold for £80m and £60 respectively after being bought for much-smaller feesCredit: PA:Press Association
N'Golo Kante was a £6m signing from Caen, but moved to Chelsea for £30m a season later

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N’Golo Kante was a £6m signing from Caen, but moved to Chelsea for £30m a season laterCredit: —

BUT THEY REMAINED COMPETITIVE

Losing players of that calibre would make any team suffer.

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And although it could be argued Leicester haven’t improved on their Premier League-winning team, they are certainly just as competitive.

Through the years, shrewd investment in new signings, especially young players, has seen the club continue to prosper.

Wilfred Ndidi, 24, arrived at the King Power Stadium in 2017 from Genk for £20million.

The Nigerian international has grown to become one of the best defensive midfielders in the country, and according to Transfermarket.com could command a fee of at least £50m.

And that’s the same fee James Maddison might fetch, if Leicester were to cash in on their asset they shelled out £20million for in 2018 from Norwich.

James Maddison, a £20m signing in 2018, would fetch over £50m in the transfer market today

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James Maddison, a £20m signing in 2018, would fetch over £50m in the transfer market todayCredit: Getty – Contributor
£30million signing Wesley Fofana has been linked with a summer move to Man Utd

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£30million signing Wesley Fofana has been linked with a summer move to Man UtdCredit: Getty
James Justin cost £10m from Luton, and could be worth as much as £20m now

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James Justin cost £10m from Luton, and could be worth as much as £20m nowCredit: Getty

Wesley Fofana, a £30million signing last summer, has been linked with a £80million move to Manchester United, which incidentally is the same fee the Red Devils paid Leicester for former centre-back Harry Maguire in 2019.

Transfermarket.com believes the Leicester City squad, which has an average age of 27, to be currently worth around £430million.

THE RECRUITMENT TEAM

Much of that success has to go down to a number of people involved in recruitment over the years.

An established transfer recruitment system was first set-up by former head of recruitment Steve Walsh, who left the club in 2016.

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Then Eduardo Macia, who worked with Brendan Rodgers at Celtic came in, and it’s now Lee Congerton – a former youth team coach at Chelsea, who studies the targets.

He is helped by a team of analysts who watch extensive videos of games all over the globe – following up on recommendations by scouts employed around the world.

The head of recruitment’s role is to assess the player through as much analytical data and statistics received.

If the player is to be a target, Congerton will fly wherever it is in the world to personally scout the player in question.

Steve Walsh, right, sat with former Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri set up the club's transfer recruitment system

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Steve Walsh, right, sat with former Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri set up the club’s transfer recruitment systemCredit: Getty – Contributor
Director of football Jon Rudkin is responsible for getting the deals over the line

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Director of football Jon Rudkin is responsible for getting the deals over the lineCredit: Getty – Contributor

Information is passed on to Rodgers before a background check is carried out on the individual, that includes their lifestyle, temperament and personality.

Finally, it’s down to director of football Jon Rudkin, assisted by director of football operations Andrew Neville, to get the deals over the line and negotiate with other clubs.

You can bet they are already in talks with new promising talent to arrive in Leicestershire, that’ll likely command a bigger fee in years to come.





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