James Maddison and Harvey Barnes are confident that Leicester can enjoy a strong season given the quality in Brendan Rodgers’ squad. The Foxes have had a slight overhaul in the summer transfer window with the obvious main loss being Harry Maguire’s £80million departure to Manchester United.
But Rodgers has successfully offloaded fringe players Islam Slimani and Andy King on loan deals to Monaco and Rangers respectively, while allowing veteran forward Shinji Okazaki to join Malaga in Spain’s La Liga on a free transfer.
The former Celtic boss has used the Maguire money to strengthen all areas of his squad with a permanent swoop for loan man Youri Tielemans, fellow midfielder Dennis Praet joined from Sampdoria, while striker Ayoze Perez and highly-rated right-back James Justin came in from Newcastle and Luton respectively.
There have been signs of gradual improvement in the side since the opening day 0-0 draw against Wolves at the King Power Stadium.
A creditable 1-1 draw at Chelsea on the second weekend was followed by Saturday’s battling 2-1 win against Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.
With five points on the board, the Foxes are sitting pretty in fourth place in the embryonic table and, while it could be a tall order for them to stay there for the season, Maddison is feeling bold about their chances of mixing it with the big boys.
He said: “Every interview I’m doing I’m telling people how much quality we’ve got in this squad. “We have to show that. It’s no good just saying it to you guys, we have to go and show the quality we’ve got.”
Barnes, who scored a stunning winning goal on Saturday after Oli McBurnie cancelled out Jamie Vardy’s opener, is equally excited about Leicester’s prospects in this campaign.
He added: “There’s definitely more to come. We’re not going to get ahead of ourselves, it’s very early in the season. “But I think we’re looking to be a lot more clinical in the final third and pick up as many points as we can.”
It could still be too soon for the Foxes to break into the top-four, although nobody expected them to last the course when they stunned the football world and won the Premier League title in 2015-16.
So the message coming out of the Leicester camp could well be ‘write us off at your peril’.
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