English Premier League champions of 2016, Leicester City, suffered a disappointing fate this season as they were relegated from the top flight.
Before the final round of matches on May 28, Leicester City found themselves in a precarious position. They were 18th in the table, two points behind Everton. To secure their Premier League status, they needed to defeat West Ham while hoping that Everton wouldn’t win against Bournemouth.
In a do-or-die situation, Leicester City gave their all. Harvey Barnes scored in the 34th minute of the first half to give them the lead. Meanwhile, Everton struggled to find a goal against Bournemouth in the first 45 minutes. As a result, Leicester City temporarily climbed above Everton in the Premier League standings.
However, when they didn’t have their fate in their own hands, goals couldn’t save Leicester City. Everton, despite not playing well, managed to score against Bournemouth in the 57th minute through Doucoure. Despite their efforts, Bournemouth couldn’t find an equalizer even with 10 minutes of added time.
Everton held on and secured a 1-0 victory. Therefore, Leicester City’s 2-1 win over West Ham became meaningless. Everton retained their Premier League status, finishing 17th with 36 points. Leicester City, on the other hand, were relegated as they finished 18th with 34 points.
It’s worth noting that just seven years ago, Leicester City created the biggest shock in Premier League history by winning the title. Therefore, their relegation this season brings much regret.
Southampton and Leeds United were also relegated alongside Leicester City this season.
As for Everton, they continue their record of never being relegated since the Premier League’s inception in 1992. They have managed to stay in the top flight for 31 consecutive seasons, matching the record of five other clubs: Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea, Tottenham, and Liverpool.
James Maddison and his teammates applauding the fans. He is considered a major star of the team but failed to perform at his best this season, which partly contributed to Leicester City’s relegation.
Jamie Vardy, the last remaining member of the 2016 title-winning squad, also looks dejected. He had to witness his team being relegated.
Many other Leicester players couldn’t hide their disappointment.
Leicester in turmoil after relegation
Midfielder James Maddison tops the list of 10 players who could find new clubs in the summer of 2023 following Leicester’s relegation from the Premier League.
According to the Daily Mirror, Leicester values Maddison at around $60 million and the price could go higher if multiple clubs inquire about him. The disadvantage for Leicester in this deal is that the English midfielder only has one year left on his contract and wants to leave because the club will be playing in the Championship next season.
Newcastle is the most potential destination, as Sporting Director Dan Ashworth even attended Leicester’s match against Liverpool at King Power Stadium on May 15 to “scout” Maddison.
Tottenham is also interested in the 26-year-old midfielder to strengthen their midfield, as they finished 8th in the Premier League and failed to secure a European spot. Arsenal had been monitoring Maddison, but they might abandon the pursuit due to prioritizing a deal for Declan Rice, a midfielder West Ham values at over $120 million.
In addition to Maddison, Leicester could sell two key players, Harvey Barnes and Wilfred Ndidi, to balance their finances after relegation from the Premier League. Transfermarkt, a transfer market specialized website, currently values the Leicester duo at $35 million.
The King Power Stadium side will also part ways with seven players whose contracts are expiring, including Caglar Soyuncu, Jonny Evans, Daniel Amartey, Ryan Bertrand, Papy Mendy, Ayoze Perez, and Youri Tielemans. Meanwhile, the future of 36-year-old forward Jamie Vardy, whose contract expires in one year, remains uncertain.
Among the mentioned names, Tielemans scored the only goal that helped Leicester defeat Chelsea in the FA Cup final two seasons ago and is considered the highest-rated player. However, the Belgian midfielder is no longer in high demand after a decline in form alongside Leicester.
The Mirror suggests that parting ways with these stars will help Leicester free up a significant portion of their wage bill. However, on the other hand, “The Foxes” will need to spend and invest wisely if they want to make a quick return to the Premier League.
In the 2022-2023 Premier League season, Leicester finished 18th with 34 points, two points behind Everton. Their 2-1 victory over West Ham in the final round was not enough to secure their place in the top flight.
After the match, Chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha took responsibility, apologized to the fans, and revealed receiving abusive and insulting messages demanding him to sell the club. However, the Thai businessman also received messages of support and sees them as motivation to “drive the recovery process and return to the Premier League.”
This is the 12th time Leicester has been relegated from the top domestic league, a record in English football. They spent 10 consecutive seasons in the Championship before returning to the Premier League in 2014. Since then, Leicester’s lowest finish was 14th, and their peak was winning the title in 2016 with stalwarts like Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez, Wes Morgan, and N’Golo Kante.