Foxes of the future: How Leicester City are shaping up for 18/19

Manager Claude Puel during the Leicester City press conference at King Power Stadium on August 9th , 2018 in Leicester, United Kingdom.

Leicester City have had a noteworthy summer but how are they shaping up before their 2018/19 Premier League season opener against Manchester United?

Manager Claude Puel of Leicester City during the pre-season friendly match between Lille and Leicester City at Stade Pierre Mauroy on August 4, 2018 in Lille, France.

Leicester City have followed up their 2016 Premier League title with 12th and 9th place finishes and two managerial changes.

This summer began with doubt surrounding the future of another, with Claude Puel even getting the usually fateful vote of confidence from the club's owners.

The Frenchman has stayed, however, and has led Leicester on an eventful summer of incomings and outgoings. But, as they prepare to kick off the Premier League season on Friday against Manchester United, just how are they shaping up?

 

The Farewells

Two of Leicester's title-winning heroes left this summer, as Robert Huth departed the club on a free and 15/16 Player of the Year Riyad Mahrez finally agreed a deal to join Manchester City.

While Huth had missed the whole of last season, Mahrez will clearly be a big loss for the club and his influence is incredibly difficult to replace despite the £60million fee.

Another notable departure is Ahmed Musa, who has joined Al-Nassr in Saudi Arabia. The Nigerian had joined in 2016 for what was then a club record fee but never settled, spending last year in Russia with CSKA Moscow. Aleksandar Dragovic returned to Bayer Leverkusen after his loan ended.

Cesar Azpilicueta of Chelsea and Riyad Mahrez of Man City battle for the ball during the FA Community Shield match between Manchester City and Chelsea at Wembley Stadium on August 5, 2018...

The Arrivals

There has been a noticeable trend in the players arriving at the King Power Stadium: youth. Five of the seven new signings are 25 or under, with the most money being spent on Norwich City's James Maddison at £25m.

Ricardo Pereira, Caglar Soyuncu, Filip Benkovic, and Danny Ward make up the rest of the five, taking Leicester's spending on youth to just under £100million.

As for a Mahrez replacement, Rachid Ghezzal has come in to replace his compatriot for £14million from AS Monaco.

One key signing is centre-back Jonny Evans, joining from West Bromwich Albion for just £3million - six months after he was rumoured to be joining Arsenal.

James Maddison of Leicester City in action with Thiago Maia of Lille during the pre-season friendly match between Lille and Leicester City at Stade Pierre Mauroy on August 4, 2018 in Lille,...

The Future

Leicester have got themselves in a strong position going forward, although it is unclear what their ambition for next season will be. They will want higher than ninth, of course, but the real excitement for the squad surrounds what it could be in a few years time.

There is a clear and obvious future there: Soyuncu (22) and Benkovic (21) at centre-half, Ben Chilwell (21) and Pereira (24) at full-back, Wilfred Ndidi (21), Daniel Amartey (23), and Maddison (21) in the middle of midfield, and Demarai Gray (21) and Kelechi Iheanacho (21) as forwards.

Keeping all of those together for the next five years seems unlikely - as it would be for any club - but there is a core there that should guarantee Leicester something special no matter what.

They are still set up to do well this season thanks to the addition of Jonny Evans, in particular, who could form a formidable partnership with Harry Maguire - whose presence will not be taken for granted after United's interest - solidifying them while their squad beds in.

Leicester travel to Old Trafford on Friday evening in a real test of their new squad; the season opener will give us an idea of just how much potential is here.

VILLACH, AUSTRIA - July 25: Jonny Evans of Leicester City ahead of the pre-season friendly match between Leicester City and Akhisarspor at Stadion Villach on July 25th, 2018 in Villach,...

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