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LEICESTER CITY: Can the Foxes go back-to-back? Has Ranieri signed the right players?

Last season was the biggest shock in the history of the Premier League that is unlikely to be repeated.

Leicester surprised all before then, even themselves, by beating the rest of the competition by more than three wins (10 points).

The main aim over the summer window was to bolster an already talented squad that now has the shadow of success hanging over their heads.

Can Ranieri lead the Foxes to another season among the elite or will it be back to reality for the reigning champions?


Leicester City - 2016/17

Key signings


Islam Slimani - from Sporting Lisbon for £28m

The Algerian striker was prolific in Portugal last season with 31 goals in all competitions for the Lisbon giants.

It appears as though Slimani has bene signed to play as a permanent centre-forward due to the presence of speedy attackers Jamie Vardy and Ahmed Musa

He tallied 57 goals in 111 appearances for Sporting, which is a very good record indeed, but can he transform that into the English game which is a much more competitive beast than the Primeira Liga.

At 28, it is a massive risk spending that amount of money on Slimani but the Foxes obviously saw a need for attacking depth and wanted to splash the cash and did so accordingly.


Ahmed Musa - from CSKA Moscow for £16m

Plays a similar role to Vardy but is potentially a little more enigmatic than the Englishman.

Musa plundered more than 50 goals for CSKA, following a stint in Holland with VVV-Venlo, and is now primed for an assault on the Premier League.

The 23-year-old looked very impressive in pre-season and appears to have settled well under Ranieri.

May have to settle for a place on the bench to begin with but could be called upon if Vardy is having a lean trot.


Nampalys Mendy - from Nice for £13m

The Frenchman is a like-for-like replacement for N'Golo Kante, who departed the King Power Stadium for Chelsea.

While Mendy may not be as energetic as his predecessor, he certainly possesses the fitness levels to cover as much ground and is capable in regards to the tackling side of the game.

Ranieri knows him well from their time together at Monaco and is expected to give the emerging youngster plenty of opportunities.

Mendy, 24, currently sits behind Andy King and Danny Drinkwater in the central midfield role but will soon be pushing for regular starts, especially if the early-season results aren't as desired.


Bartosz Kapustka - from Cracovia for £7.5m

The highly-rated Polish winger will gain plenty of experience from being involved with the Leicester first-team.

Kapustka has already impressed at international level with Poland, including at Euro2016, and has notched up over 60 senior games in his homeland.

Can play as an attacking central midfielder as well as on the left wing and is likely to be given opportunities in the cups competitors and quite possibly in the Champions League.

The 19-year-old has an enormous amount of upside and can be a top quality Foxes player for many years to come provided he adjusts to life in England well.


Ron-Robert Zieler - from Hannover for £3m

The German goalkeeper was signed by Ranieri to go head-to-head with Kasper Schmeichel for the gloves.

Zieler has an abundance of Bundesliga matches under his belt from his time with Hannover and has also played six times for Germany.

Spent time with Manchester United earlier in his career and has the ability to push Schmeichel all the way.


Luis Hernandez - from Sporting Gijon for free

The Spaniard has been brought to the East Midlands to provide competition for captain Wes Morgan and Robert Huth, who formed a formidable centre-back pairing last season.

Hernandez, 27, is a clever addition by the Foxes as he holds plenty of experience from his time with Gijon, including a season in La Liga.

He has cost the club nothing and will be a good fall-back option if Morgan or Huth are injured or need a rest.


Other additions


Raul Uche - from Rayo Vallecano for an undisclosed fee

The talented Spanish forward has linked up with the Leicester youth academy to continue his development.

Showed great signs with Rayo at youth level and the Foxes hope he can be an important figure in the future.



Overall

It was probably the easiest summer in Leicester's transfer history in terms of attracting players to the once little known club.

Whether these additions can help the Foxes establish themselves as a genuine top flight outfit is yet to be determined.

We will not know if last season was a fluke until later in the campaign but it is expected that the likes of Slimani, Musa and Mendy will feature prominently through 2016/17, as Ranieri strives to simply avoid relegation.

The title will not even be in the sights of the East Midlands club who are eager to force their way into a top-half finish while tasting Champions League football for the very first time.

Some quality additions and some signings for the future has the playing group in a fairly strong position, even after the regretful exit of Kante, but the squad still needs to do a mountain of work.


Tribal's Transfer Rating:
7/10

Andrew Slevison
About the author

Andrew Slevison

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