Leicester City Football Club
Nickname – The Foxes
Best PL Finish – 1st (2015/16)
There need to be few introductions when talking about Leicester City’s recent history. Premier League Champions in 2015/16, The Foxes defied 5000/1 odds to claim the title ahead of the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea, Spurs and Arsenal. It is perhaps the greatest sporting story ever. One year on the brink of relegation, the next at the top of the pile. That Leicester team of 2015/16 is one that will never be forgotten.
Although Leicester are now an established Premier League club, their history in the top flight is anything but. In the inaugural years of the Premier League, Leicester were basically a yo-yo between that and Division 1 before regaining some stability between 1996 and 2002. However, between then and 2014, they only spent 1 season in the top division.
Top 5 Record Transfer Fees (as of 04/02/19)
- Islam Slimani – £29 million (from Sporting Lisbon – August 2016)
- Kelechi Iheanacho – £25 million (from Manchester City – August 2017)
- Adrien Silva – £22 million (from Sporting Lisbon – January 2018)
- James Maddison – £20 million (from Norwich – June 2018)
- Caglar Soyuncu – £19 million (from Freiburg – August 2018)
(Figures include initial fees in GBP at the time of the transfer, as reported by the BBC unless specified otherwise)
Biggest Flop – Ade Akinbiyi
Many names will crop up when The Foxes’ fans talk about their worst ever signings, in fact Adrien Silva may even come close due to the cost of the transfer and his lack of impact for the club since signing in January 2018. However, Ade Akinbiyi just pips him to the title of Leicester’s biggest Premier League flop.
Ade Akinbiyi signed for Leicester in 2000 for a club record fee at the time of £5.3m. However, the big transfer fee was not reflected by his on-field performances. A feature in many ‘Premier League worst ever misses’ programmes, Akinbiyi had a penchant for not being able to finish. In fact, he performed so poorly for The Foxes that fans reportedly began to throw their programmes at him. Akinbiyi left Leicester’s Filbert Street with only 11 goals in 58 appearances and will certainly be remembered by the Leicester faithful for the wrong reasons.
Biggest Bargain – N’golo Kanté
There are so many names to choose from when talking about Leicester City’s biggest ever bargains considering the regular starting XI in their title winning season cost collectively under £30m. Jamie Vardy was signed from Fleetwood Town for £1m and Riyad Mahrez was signed for £450,000 but none trump the impact of everybody’s favourite midfielder, Ngolo Kanté.
Kanté signed for the Foxes in July 2015 for £5.6m and instantly changed the whole outlook of Leicester. In fact, he was probably the most instrumental player in their title winning season, being the perfect player in a 4-4-2 formation, breaking up play and starting counter-attacks at breakneck speeds. Naturally, Kanté’s rise to the top led to a big money move to Chelsea and various Premier League awards. Although now he plies his trade at Stamford Bridge, he is now a World Cup Winner and two-time Premier League champion – and Leicester signed him for £5.6m from Ligue 2 – bargain.
Records and Trivia
- Leicester City’s title winning season was the highest they had finished in England’s top division since 1928, when they finished 2nd.
- Adrien Silva was due to sign for Leicester City in the 2017 transfer window, but the club submitted his paperwork 14 seconds too late and FIFA rejected their claims for it to be passed.
- No player under the age of 20 has played for Leicester City this season. Hamza Choudhury, the academy product, is the current youngest at 20 years and 11 months.
- Hamza Choudhury is the only current player in the Premier League who could play for a South Asian nation. He is eligible to play for Bangladesh.
- The Leicester City title winning squad cost a total of £54.4m, according to ESPN, with only Leonardo Ulloa costing the club double figures (£10m). In comparison, Manchester City’s squad cost £418m, Arsenal’s was £250m and Spurs cost £160m.
- The Foxes made a £27m profit off of the sale of N’golo Kante. That a 450% profit on the original price they paid.
- Riyad Mahrez signed for Leicester from Le Havre for only £450,000 in 2014. They then sold him to Manchester City for £60m in 2018. That’s a 1333% increase.