Can it really be almost a decade since Leicester City shocked the footballing world by winning the Premier League? It must be our age but it only seems like a few seasons ago that avuncular Italian, Claudio Ranieri, was masterminding the greatest upset in modern football history. But no, it was 2,669 days ago (as of, well, today) that Leicester rounded off the 2015/16 season with a 1-1 draw against Chelsea. Admittedly, that might be more like seven and a bit years than a full decade but even so, it is a long time ago now!
If seven days is a long time in politics, seven-plus years is certainly a long time in football. Since Leicester’s still-hard-to-believe triumph, the Foxes have won the FA Cup for the first time in their history and, rather less gloriously, been relegated to the Championship. Several managers have come and gone and hundreds of millions of pounds have been spent on players but are any of the Foxes’ Premier League heroes still at the club? And if not, where are they now? Let’s take a look at some of the most important members of Leicester’s title-winning team.
The goalkeeper is a great place to start and until recently Schmeichel, who played every game in 2015/16, was still with Leicester City. Somewhat controversially he was allowed to leave the club in August 2022 and many fans feel that his absence played a large part in the club’s subsequent relegation. As well as being one of the most underrated goalkeepers in Premier League history, the former Man City and Leeds stopper was a real leader and there is no doubt he was sorely missed. The Danish stopper moved to Nice in Ligue 1 and played 46 times for the club in his first season and has since moved to Anderlecht in the Belgian Pro League.
Old-fashioned (but highly effective) defender Morgan was Leicester’s captain and their FA Cup final win was his last professional appearance. The Nottingham native began his youth career at Notts County and his senior one at Forest but enjoyed most success with the Foxes. The Jamaican international played 323 times for Leicester and retired at the end of the 2020/21 campaign.
Vardy is perhaps the player most associated with Leicester’s title, in part due to his goals, but also due to his personality and also because of the infamous party at his house on the night that Leicester secured the league title. Vardy, who turned 36 in January 2023, is one of the very few members of the famous team who is still at the club. He has notched over 150 league goals for Leicester and played 37 times in their last Premier League campaign. He only scored three times though and, at the time of writing, is yet to get off the mark in the Championship after five games.
The relatively unheralded Albrighton is still a Leicester player, although he was loaned to West Brom in January 2023 as the parent club would go on to be relegated. In the 2023/24 campaign he has made two brief appearances from the bench in the Championship and the wide man, who turns 34 in November, is out of contract in June 2024, meaning he will have been with the club for 10 years exactly (to the day!). He featured in every single Premier League game in 2015/16.
Algerian winger, Mahrez, was one of Leicester’s best players during their title success. His sublime skills, balance and trickery helped him register 17 goals and 10 assists in 2015/16. He was a bargain-buy at just £450,000 and was held up as an example of the great scouting Leicester did at around this time. In July 2018, he moved to Manchester City, enjoying several hugely successful seasons under Pep Guardiola. In summer 2023, he made the move to the Saudi Pro League with Al-Ahli.
Kante, like Mahrez, was one of Leicester’s best buys, as their then-scout Steve Walsh again proved his worth. The Foxes picked up the diminutive midfield dynamo for around £5m – a real bargain in Premier League terms. His energy and reading of the game gave Leicester so much defensive cover and he was the club’s Players’ Player of the Year in 2015/16, as well as being named in the PFA Team of the Year.
He wasted no time in leaving Leicester though and the club made a huge profit as he was sold to Chelsea for £32m a year after they signed him. Chelsea will feel they got their money’s worth though as they won the league and Kante was crowned Premier League Player of the Season. In June 2023, Kante joined Mahrez in Saudi Arabia, signing for Al-Ittihad where he joined French teammate, Karim Benzema.
And, what of the manager? Well, sadly, but not surprisingly in modern football, Italian boss, Ranieri, did not last too long at Leicester. Despite achieving the impossible, the former Juve, Chelsea and Inter boss (to name just a few of the sides he also managed) was sacked just six months into the 2016/17 season.
On the 9th of January, 2017, he was crowned 2016 Coach of the Year at the FIFA Best Awards. In February, he was sacked! He was soon employed by Nantes, and since then has also managed Fulham, Roma, Sampdoria and Watford, and is currently, at the age of nearly 72, managing Cagliari for a second time. Age is not slowing him down either as he has helped them to promotion into Serie A!
What About the Rest?
- Danny Drinkwater – The central midfielder made a big-money move to Chelsea but rarely played. The 33-year-old is without a club at the time of writing having been released by Chelsea.
- Shinji Okazaki – The Japanese striker played 36 league games in 2015/16, left Leicester for Malaga in 2019 and currently plays with Belgian side Sint-Truiden.
- Christian Fuchs – This dependable defender stayed with Leicester until 2021 when he moved to the MLS. The Austrian retired in January 2023.
- Robert Huth – A rugged German centre back, Huth is now 39 and last played in the 2016/17 campaign for Leicester, though he stayed at the club for another season. In October 2022 he returned to the club as loans manager.
- Danny Simpson – Simpson was Leicester’s right back and made 35 PL appearances in 2015/16. He left Leicester in 2019 and has played for Huddersfield and Bristol City since. The 36 year old is currently without a club.