Leicester City have today confirmed that Wes Morgan, Christian Fuchs and Matty James will all leave the club when their contracts expire at the end of the season.
Morgan has been an integral member of the Foxes squad since he joined from Nottingham Forest in January 2012, while Fuchs and James have also played important roles in the recent success at the King Power Stadium.
Those departures means that there is just three of the Foxes’ Premier League title-winning squad left at the club and there’s no doubt Fuchs, Morgan and James will leave a remarkable legacy behind them after the service they’ve given to the city of Leicester.
Captain Morgan key to Leicester success
After making the switch from Forest, Morgan quickly became a fans’ favourite at City as he put in a number of vital performances which helped them challenge at the top end of the Championship. His leadership helped the Foxes to win promotion back to the Premier League for the first time in a decade – a season in which he was named in the PFA Team of the Year.
Although the 37-year-old struggled in his maiden top-flight campaign, he chipped in with a vital goal in a 3-0 win against Newcastle United as they completed the ‘Great Escape’ after being seven points adrift at the start of April. However, Morgan’s impact in the following season will be remembered as nothing short of legendary.
He became just the third player to play every single minute of a title-winning Premier League campaign, whilst scoring some important goals along the way. The winner at home to Southampton, the leveller away against Manchester United and the first goal versus Sevilla in the Champions League will never be forgotten by Leicester supporters.
Morgan lifted the Emirates FA Cup with Kasper Schmeichel last Saturday in his 318th City appearance and it's likely that he will be known as one of the greatest leaders in the club's history.
A coveted career for Fuchs
The 35-year-old arrived at the Foxes in June 2015 as an Austria international, having appeared for his country over 70 times, whilst featuring in two European Championships. But Fuchs didn’t have a regular spot in the Foxes side until November, but he quickly became a mainstay in the team as they surprised the odds to win the top-flight.
The left-back played 32 league matches that season and was key to their impressive defensive record, which saw them conceded just seven goals in their final 12 outings. He also was the first Austrian to lift the trophy since Alex Manniger in 1998 and Fuchs’ experience to keep the Foxes on track to sealing that success was pivotal.
It took Fuchs until October 2016 to score his first goal in a City shirt, and what a strike it was. The ex-Schalke defender hammered home a wonderful half-volley against Crystal Palace and he virtually repeated a similar finish in a Carabao Cup tie versus Fleetwood Town.
Fuchs departs the Foxes with a Premier League and FA Cup medal and having made over 150 appearances; he will be fondly remembered for what he brought to the club, both on and off the pitch.
James a crucial member of the Championship-winning team
Unfortunately, injuries hampered James’ Leicester career and many supporters are wondering what he would’ve achieved if it wasn’t for those problems. The midfielder joined the Foxes from Man United in 2012 as they looked to rebuild following a season of uncertainty and James impressed in his first season at the club, scoring on the final day in a 3-2 win at Forest.
The 29-year-old’s partnership with Danny Drinkwater shone in their Championship-winning side, as the pair played a crucial part in that success. James played 35 times that campaign on route to the top-flight, but he suffered a horrendous knee injury against Southampton in May 2015, which kept his out for a number of months.
He made his first start for over two years in a 2-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion at the beginning of the 2017/18 season, but he would struggle to cement his place in the starting XI. James, who has spent time out on loan at Derby County, Barnsley and Coventry City recently, leaves Filbert Way having given the Foxes fans nine years of good service and will be regarded as someone who helped the club on their historic journey to their greatest success.