After almost a decade in the Premier League, even winning the 2015-16 title in what was one of the biggest shocks in English football history, Leicester City find themselves back in the Championship after a turbulent spell both on and off the pitch.
The Foxes are the outright favourites in the Championship football betting to win the second tier and return to the Premier League at the first time of asking, and they are off to the perfect start with two wins from two at the time of writing — albeit not the most convincing of victories over Coventry City and Huddersfield Town.
There have been some big changes at the King Power Stadium this summer, however. The contracts of several first-team players ran out at the end of last season and a couple more influential figures have been sold in the transfer window, while Enzo Maresca has been appointed as the permanent successor to Brendan Rodgers after Dean Smith took on the interim role for the remainder of last season.
Some of the £80-odd million that Leicester received for Harvey Barnes and James Maddison from Newcastle United and Leicester City respectively has been reinvested in the squad by Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha to ensure the Foxes have the best chance of automatic promotion, so let’s take a look at some of the new arrivals.
Harry Winks – £10m
It was known for some time that Harry Winks wasn’t up to the standard required at Tottenham Hotspur. He spent last season on loan at Serie A side Sampdoria and as he entered the last year of his contract this summer, it seemed likely Spurs would try and cash in as opposed to letting him leave for free at the end of the season.
Winks joined Leicester for £10m in July, ending his 21-year relationship with the club he joined when he was just six years old. This is a fresh start for the England international, though, and Leicester fans will be hoping he can fill the void left behind by Youri Tielemans — who joined their Midlands counterparts Aston Villa for free.
Conor Coady – £7.5m
Another area of the squad that was left with a gaping hole this summer, Leicester’s long-serving centre-backs Jonny Evans and Caglar Soyuncu were both amongst the senior players whose contracts ran out at the end of last season.
Veteran defender Conor Coady was brought in from the Foxes’ geographical rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers to soften that blow, and his experience at both club and international level makes him a well-suited replacement.
However, the 30-year-old suffered a foot injury in a behind-closed-doors friendly in pre-season and is set to miss the opening seven weeks of the Championship campaign. That is not the news Maresca or the Leicester fans would have hoped for.
Stephy Mavididi – £6.4m
Leicester brought in Stephy Mavididi from Montpellier for £6.4m as a like-for-like replacement for Newcastle-bound Barnes. The left-winger came through the youth ranks at Arsenal, but never made a senior appearance for the Gunners before joining Juventus in 2018 after loan spells at Charlton Athletic and Preston North End.
He made just one Serie A appearance in his first year at the Old Lady and spent the second season on loan at Dijon. Mavididi joined Montpellier in 2020 and finally found somewhere he could settle and kickstart his career, making 91 Ligue 1 appearances in three seasons and scoring 21 goals.
The 25-year-old has hit the ground running in a Leicester shirt, assisting Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall’s winner against Coventry and scoring the only goal of the game in the 1-0 win over Huddersfield.
Leicester also signed 23-year-old Danish goalkeeper Mads Hermansen from Brondby for £6m. He made 70 appearances for his boyhood club and won their Player of the Year award in 2022. Cesare Casadei and Callum Doyle have come in on loan from Chelsea and Manchester City, respectively.