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It’s unbelievable isn’t it?

A team that was given a 5000/1 chance of winning the title has just been crowned champions of England.

Champions of England - The plan for the Leicester City next seasonIf one said in August of last year and said to a mad football fan that on 3rd May, Leicester City would be champions of England, ridicule would likely be the result.

A side that was tipped for relegation, and eventually, an ‘inevitable’ choke, which many experts had tipped for months, never came. The colourful Jamie Vardy, tricky Riyad Mahrez and the wall known as N’Golo Kante among many others played a huge hand in securing the unthinkable.

Now, the question is this. With their first Champions League campaign on the horizon, an intriguing summer transfer window and growing expectations, what is next for the Foxes?

Holding on to key players

The big question that faces Leicester is whether their big names will be at the club next season.

Jamie Vardy has been the subject of transfer rumours involving numerous clubs around England. However, at 29, a stay at the King Power looks likely. With a major sum of money coming through thanks to their title win a pay rise seems imminent.

Mahrez and Kante are also going to be prime transfer targets after their superb seasons. Still with their best years ahead of them, their futures could well lie away from the East Midlands. But once again, the impending Champions League campaign and chance to defend their crown may be enough to entice the duo to stay for next season.

Others such as Danny Drinkwater, Robert Huth and Kasper Schmeichel will also draw the ire of rival clubs. Expect the trio to stay and help to aid their push in a historic season for the club.

The question of replacements will all be answered upon the departure of any of these names. If they do end up staying put, Leicester will still need to inject a major amount of cash to add to their quality and depth, especially when you consider their blessed run with injuries this season.

Bolstering depth

An area in need of upheaval is the depth that has lacked sufficient quality throughout the season. The Foxes made do with what they had, but with more games on the horizon, they more reinforcements.

Defensive depth has been something of a worry for the Foxes as the ageing, yet reliable duo of Huth and Wes Morgan are lacking solid backup. The squad could do with a younger alternative, with Marcin Wasilewski not being up to Champions League quality for next season. Even in the full-back roles, Danny Simpson and Christian Fuchs lack backing other than the speedy Jeff Schlupp.

The midfield is Leicester’s biggest strength. However, a player who needs to come in is one to replace Marc Albrighton. The former Villa winger has had a solid season, although due to their Champions League expectations, the need for a winger of supreme talent is a priority for the team.

Vardy and Shinji Okazaki are vital to the attacking third, while the third striker Leonardo Ulloa has been very solid. Another striker in my opinion is also a necessity to provide even more attacking depth.

The question of who is up in the air, but with M’Baye Niang on the radar and European action, they may fancy their chances of concluding a major coup.

Expectations

After qualifying for the Champions League, it will be interesting to see how the Foxes perform in Europe. If Leicester can manage to sign quality players in areas where they’re lacking, especially defence and talent on the wings, then the squad will improve significantly.

Would the fans at the King Power Stadium entertain the thought of playing against Real Madrid, Bayern Munich or Barcelona? Of course, but if they realistically want to reach the knockout stages – a target they should and will almost certainly aim for – then avoiding the big guns is preferable.

As for Premier League, a finish in the top six should be the aim. With the rebuild of Chelsea under Conte, Manchester City under Pep Guardiola and the already strong presence of Spurs, Arsenal, United and Liverpool provides a tough test for the Foxes.

Throw West Ham and Southampton in the mix, who continue to perform admirably, and it will be an extremely testing season in prospect. However, after producing a football miracle, you would be a brave man to back against Ranieri and his men.

Originally published at outside90.com

Post written by Nicholas Durbano, Twitter: @nick_durbano98
for Outside 90, Blog: outside90.com, Twitter: @Outside90

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