This time last year, few would have predicted that Leicester City would be at the top of the Premier League when the season ended. Can the Foxes defy the odds again to defend their title this year, however, or will another club claim the trophy for its display cabinet?
Can Vardy Help Leicester City to Seal Back-to-Back Premiership Title Wins?
At the start of the 2015/16 season, Leicester City were considered to be such unlikely champions that bookies were offering their customers odds of 5000 – 1. When the Foxes eventually triumphed, they cost the nation’s bookmakers an estimated £25 million: according to The Telegraph, that’s the biggest loss in British history on a single sporting market for the bookies.
Winning the title for the second time in a row would be a huge ask for the club, which was promoted to the Premiership in 2014, for the first time in ten years. Shortly after his team secured the title, Claudio Ranieri, the manager, was asked by the press whether he thought they could become Premier League champions again.
“No. I think no but of course we want to continue to build,” he said.
The Foxes will have to make do without N’Golo Kante this season, as the talented French midfielder has made the move to Chelsea, and some people, including Martin Keown, believe that Leicester will find it difficult to retain their title without him.
They do have some things in their favour, though. Star striker, Jamie Vardy, who finished the season as the league’s joint second-highest goal scorer, behind Spurs’ Harry Kane, turned down an offer from Arsenal, opting to stay at Leicester City instead. The club has also signed a number of new players, including Ahmed Musa, the Nigerian international player, from CSKA Moscow for £16 million, the highest transfer fee they have ever paid.
How will Mourinho’s Manchester United Squad Shape Up?
This week’s big football news is that Manchester United have signed Paul Pogba for a world record-breaking fee of £89 million. The French midfielder will be returning to Old Trafford after four years at Juventus, having received numerous accolades during his time at the Italian club.
Pogba isn’t the only big name player to have signed for the Reds this summer either. Jose Mourinho, who took over as Manchester United’s manager just three months ago, also signed Zlatan Ibrahimovic in July. The former Paris St-Germain, Barcelona and Juventus striker has already put one past the post in the Reds’ pre-season friendly against Galatasaray and scored the goal that ensured they beat Leicester City to win the 2016 FA Community Shield.
Other Pre-Season Premiership News
Although everyone will be keen to see whether or not Mourinho can help the Reds to win some major football trophies this year, the Premiership looks like it could be fairly open. Plenty of tasty transfers have taken place in the run-up to the start of the new season and many teams have signed up high-quality players who could help them to shine.
Liverpool have been on a summer spending spree, for example, buying players such as Sadio Mane from Southampton and Loris Karius from Mainz. Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne has also told the press that the Blues could be title contenders, thanks to the addition of players like Leroy Sane and Ilkay Gundogan, and the club has also just bought Everton defender, John Stones, for £47.5 million.
Which team has the best chance of winning the Premiership this year? Which transfers do you think will pay off? Leave a comment below.