This Premier League season so far has been defined by unpredictability and shock results, with the chief protagonists of upsetting the applecart current leaders Leicester City.
Claudio Ranieri’s men have gone from relegation candidates last term to the best team in the land this season and deservedly possess top spot going into Christmas.
Like in every team, a number of key figures have been critical to the Foxes’ rise, with Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez gaining the majority of plaudits.
Vardy’s goals, 14 in total, have been crucial in firing the King Power Stadium outfit to the table’s summit, while Mahrez gets better every week, scoring and creating strikes at will.
Although the sublime duo rightly hog the headlines, Leicester’s success has been a team effort and a host of other players deserve critical acclaim.
Here are three players that have thrived this season and have also been key cogs in the Foxes’ wheel…
Leicester’s captain, defensive talisman and leader, 31-year-old Morgan must go down as one of the most under-rated players in the Premier League.
The Jamaica international has spent the majority of his career in the Football League, but has shown both last season and this term that he has all the weaponry to be a rounded centre-half at the top level.
Added to Morgan’s influence and never-say-die attitude are the statistics that prove just how prolific a defender he is.
The veteran has not been booked in his last 26 games and has only committed six fouls all season, showing just how accurate and impressive he has been.
Before this season, Danny Drinkwater was not a name commonly known by many apart from the Leicester fans – despite the fact the central midfielder is a product of Manchester United’s youth system and a former England under-19 international.
However, this season the 25-year-old has been a driving force for the King Power Stadium outfit at both ends of the pitch.
A resolute combatant that has won his lion’s share of personal battles against more distinguished opposite numbers, Drinkwater has also played a role in unleashing the team’s attacking players with his distribution.
Although the former United man picked up an injury in the recent win over Chelsea, he has been one of the team’s standout stars this season.
When Leicester made their summer signings, Gokhan Inler’s name stood out – but it has been another midfield addition that has kept the experienced Switzerland international out of the Foxes team and inspired his side to a progressive season.
Signed from modest French club Caen, Kante has been nothing short of a revelation this season, with his energy, work-rate and range of passing making him a daunting opponent regardless of his slight stature.
Added to Ranieri’s ranks for a fee believed to be in the £5million range, Kante must be adjudged as one of the best Premier League summer signings and continues to impress game-by-game.