Leicester City are back challenging at the top of the table again, but they have evolved since their dizzying, triumphant campaign of 2015-16. Of the 23 players used in the league that year, eight remain contracted at the King Power Stadium, and only a few are still key players. So where have the players got to? Where are they four years on? We check in with the 23, plus back-up goalkeepers Mark Schwarzer and Ben Hamer, to see what became of their careers.
He’s still City’s first-choice goalkeeper and is closing in on a decade at the King Power Stadium. The Denmark international is rated as one of the best in the Premier League, and has excelled for his country, for whom he represented at he 2018 World Cup.
Four years ago, it probably would not have been predicted that Hamer would be playing alongside Wayne Rooney. But after leaving City for Huddersfield in 2018, he has now joined Derby on loan, taking over from Kelle Roos as Phillip Cocu’s number one.
The Australian retired after his second title win in as many years, and now, aged 47, works as a pundit.
Ritchie De Laet
City’s first-choice right-back before Danny Simpson took on the role, De Laet moved on loan to Middlesbrough and ended up winning the Premier League title and earning promotion from the Championship. And he has enjoyed a varied career since leaving Leicester. His time at Aston Villa was marred by a serious knee injury, and he was sent out on loan, first to Melbourne City were he was played as a striker, and then to his hometown club Royal Antwerp, who he joined permanently last summer.
After five years of service, Simpson was released by City last summer, with Ricardo Pereira taking his right-back spot and with James Justin coming in as back-up. Last September, he signed for Championship strugglers Huddersfield and has been a regular for the Terriers.
Skipper Morgan may be in the twilight of his career, but he is still proving a valuable asset for the club. Although the 36-year-old has been replaced by younger models in the starting line-up, he has still provided key contributions off the bench and in the cups, while his off-field influence is likely to see him earn another one-year deal this summer.
Released in the summer of 2018 after an injury-hit final campaign, the big German briefly trained with former side Stoke before announcing his retirement in January 2019. In February, he said he had become “fed up” of football, but a week later was recruited to be a defensive coach for Germany’s Under-21s.
A take-no-prisoners centre-half, Wasilewski’s four-year spell with City came to an end in 2017, and he returned to his native Poland to join Wisla Krakow. He turns 40 in June, but he still has strikers running scared, and has played 12 games this season.
He was Claudio Ranieri’s joint-first signing, along with N’Golo Kante, but Benalouane spent most of the title-winning season on loan at Fiorentina. The Tunisian came back and started in both Champions League quarter-final legs against Atletico Madrid, but quickly returned to the fringes, and joined East Midlands rivals Nottingham Forest in January 2019. This season, he has played only 45 minutes of competitive football.
It was not expected, in 2020, that Fuchs would still be a City player. But he keeps delaying his move to his family in New York, and it’s to City’s benefit, with the Austrian a more-than-competent back-up for Ben Chilwell. If he signs another one-year extension, he will booking himself in for a sixth City campaign. He originally only intended to stay for three.
It’s all gone downhill for Drinkwater. He barely played at Chelsea following his £35m switch to Stamford Bridge, then struggled to get into the Burnley side when on loan at Turf Moor earlier this season. Now, on loan at relegation-battling Aston Villa, his displays are yet to win over fans.
An inspired signing, Kante’s City career lasted just one season, and he has since gone on to become one of the most-renowned defensive midfielders in world football. A £32m signing for Chelsea, Kante won the title, and player of the year, in his first campaign at the club, and then lifted the World Cup with France in 2018.
City’s longest-serving and a true club icon, King’s time as a Leicester player may end after more than 15 years this summer. He has spent the past few campaigns out on loan at Swansea, Derby, Rangers, and now Huddersfield, while his contract at the King Power Stadium is up at the end of the season.
The versatile Ghanaian was getting to grips with his role as a right-back when he broke his ankle in wince-inducing moment in October 2018. He has not played in a competitive game since.
If he can return to fitness, he will likely be loaned out for next season.
Remember him? Swiss international Inler was intended to be the Esteban Cambiasso replacement that would become a key man in City’s midfield, but he ended up playing second fiddle to Drinkwater and Kante. Leaving City after one season, he immediately won another winner’s medal, with Besiktas in Turkey, and for the past three seasons has represented their rivals Istanbul Basaksehir.
With Harvey Barnes coming through the ranks and Ayoze Perez signed a for a big fee, Albrighton no longer plays as regularly as he once did, but the 30-year-old remains a valued member of the City squad and a fan favourite.
One of the most talented, awe-inspiring players to ever wear a Leicester shirt, the tricky Algerian finally got his desired move away in 2018, joining Manchester City for £60m.
He soured his reputation with his former club by saying he “lost” two years of his career at the King Power Stadium, but he certainly hasn’t lost any of his talent, helping Man City win the title last season and twice running Leicester ragged this term.
Academy graduate Schlupp lasted just a few more months as a City player following the title win, and joined Crystal Palace for £12m in January 2017. There, he has continued to show his versatility, playing left-back, central midfield, and on the wings, while also becoming somewhat of a Selhurst Park cult figure.
Still far too similar to the raw talent that arrived from Birmingham for £3.5m in January 2016 for some fans’ liking, Gray has made very gradual progress at the King Power Stadium. He had been given more and more opportunities per season before the current campaign, when his opportunities have been limited.
Despite his valuable cameos on loan in 2015-16, Dyer went straight back to Swansea and has been playing for the club ever since. Another 12 appearances for the Championship play-off hopefuls this season means winger Dyer is now approaching 350 outings for the Swans.
His hat-trick at Bury on debut earned him one brief Premier League outing at Bournemouth in 2015-16, but he left for Rangers at the end of the campaign. His career in Glasgow never took off, and he turned out on loan for Blackpool before joining Bolton permanently last October. He has scored four goals and provided four assists for the troubled League One club.
Now 33 but still City’s talisman and rightly so, with Vardy on course to become the oldest Golden Boot winner in the Premier League era this season. His 19 goals, part of a terrific record under Rodgers, mean City are well in contention to return to the Champions League.
Vardy’s support man during the title triumph, Okazaki’s importance gradually dwindled before he was let go last summer. He did join Malaga, but financial problems cut that deal very short, and he instead signed for their Spanish second division rivals Huesca. The Japanese striker, now 34, has scored eight goals for the promotion hopefuls this term.
Joining Okazaki in the Segunda Division is Ulloa, who left City in 2018 to join Mexican side Pachuca, but who moved to Madrid-based Rayo Vallecano last summer. He had scored six goals for the club before rupturing his knee ligaments in February.
While it never worked out for Kramaric at Leicester, he has consistently banged in the goals since moving to Hoffenheim. Sixty-five goals in 145 games for the German club has seen the striker play in the Champions League, and become a regular at international level, helping Croatia to the World Cup final in 2018.
/ 3 days ago
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