Pre-season is now in full swing and Leicester City are wasting no time in their search for a championship winning squad.
After the acrimonious departure of Matt Mills, you could be forgiven for thinking Nigel Pearson was on the warpath. Any manager is well within his rights to make big decisions but with Lee Peltier, a solid performer in his time at the club, now also out of the door, and Jermaine Beckford also seemingly heading out of The King Power Stadium, Pearson is taking no prisoners in his desire to re-shape the squad for a title push.
Pearson’s overhaul has seen him sign seven new additions, with Jamie Vardy and Zak Whitbread, being the 2 most likely to make an immediate impact on the first XI.
The signing of Vardy could prove to be a very astute piece of business. The former Fleetwood Town striker had a wonderful time of things last season, bagging 31 league goals in his one season at the promoted club.
There is however question marks over whether he has the ability to cut it at a higher level. Leicester has provided him with the perfect platform for him to showcase his talents and prove the doubters wrong.
Pearson will be hoping Vardy and Nugent can be Leicester’s very own -York and Cole or Shearer and Sutton – and fire Leicester back into the big time. Goals were at a premium for The Foxes last year, so if Beckford does leave for pastures new, expect Pearson to be on the lookout for another striker to add depth to his frontline.
With plenty of time still left in the window, 24 days and counting, for clubs to delve into the market, Leicester’s transfer business is far from over. With so many new additions, and the likelihood of more moves in and out of the club, Pearson’s main worry should be making sure the players can gel in time for the club to reap the benefits.
Leicester’s main rivals for the title have also been making moves to strengthen their squads ahead of the season openers on the weekend commencing the 17th. The three clubs demoted from the Premier League last season will all be a major threat to The Foxes.
Whenever a club is painfully ejected from the top flight, the main objective is to hold onto as many of their best players as possible. Inevitably this almost always fails to happen. Big name clubs come calling, offering potential European football, bigger wage packets – and let’s be honest, what footballer isn’t driven by money?
In an age where the game is over aught with agents, staff and players all wanting their piece of the money pie, a club just relegated from the top flight can rarely afford to meet such demands.
With that in mind, Bolton, Blackburn and Wolves have all done reasonably well in keeping some of their outstanding players. Sure Bolton has lost clinical Croat Klasnic, safe hands Jussi Jaaskelainen and the driving force of their midfield Reo- Coker. But they have also, so far, managed to keep hold of Mark Davies, Martin Petrov and Lee Chung-Yong, all of whom could set the championship alight.
It’s a similar story for both Blackburn and Wolves, both have lost some good players but have also managed to retain some even better ones. Fans of all three clubs will be praying that come August the 31st, Jim “Deadline Day” White isn’t screaming the bad news, what seemed like the almost inevitable departures, of the clubs better players at the 12th hour.
The upcoming Championship season is shaping up to be the best it’s ever been, with some outstanding players on show and a title race that has 5 or 6 genuine contenders. After several seasons of anguish and pain, Leicester fans can only hope and pray Nigel Pearsons plan will come to fruition and result in a jubilant return to the promise land.